No hols for ride

by Nigel Brown Jan 19 2021 0     1,699
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January 19, 2021

 

The most iconic ride on Clacton Pier is spending winter at the attraction for the first time in five years.

The 50ft tall Helter Skelter, which is more than 70 years old, normally goes away on holiday to escape the worst of the weather and protect it from strong winds.

However, due to the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns it has remained in place and will be up and ready to operate once the Pier is allowed to reopen.

The ride has previously spent winters in Cardiff and Edinburgh, where it was part of the Princes Street Winter Wonderland event.

Pier director Billy Ball said that due to the pandemic the Helter Skelter has gone nowhere this year and, so far, has survived unscathed. Extra measures have been taken to ensure that it is secure and held in place.

“The removal of the ride usually hails the end of the main season and then it returns in time for Easter,” he said.

“This year there were no events for it to go away to, so it has stayed put. It is good to have it here and we will give it a good check over before we open up again.”

The Helter Skelter, also known as a slip, was built by English specialist firm Supercar in 1949. It was brought to Clacton in the 1970’s and then sold on by the then owners.

Billy and Elliot Ball brought it back in 2009 when they purchased the attraction from the Harrison family as a statement of their intentions to return the Pier to its former glory.

It was brought down and severely damaged in 70mph winds in 2013 before being carefully rebuilt and restored ready for May 2016.

Photo by Kevin Jay 

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