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Strong winds force weekend closure of outdoor rides at pier

PUBLISHED: 12:03 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 18 March 2019

The Jolly Roger entrace was blown to the side of a nearby building Picture: CLACTON PIER

The Jolly Roger entrace was blown to the side of a nearby building Picture: CLACTON PIER

CLACTON PIER

Outdoor rides at a popular pier were forced to close for two days when high winds blew an entrance booth from its fixings during stormy weather.

The entrance booth for the circus on the Jolly Roger Arena was blown away from its fixings at Clacton Pier Picture: CLACTON PIERThe entrance booth for the circus on the Jolly Roger Arena was blown away from its fixings at Clacton Pier Picture: CLACTON PIER

It’s been a blustery few weeks across East Anglia, as strong winds twice caused the Orwell Bridge to close – wreaking havoc for drivers travelling in and out of Ipswich.

But it seems the stormy weather has also been a killjoy for fun-lovers at one of Essex’s most popular seaside resorts, as staff were forced to close the outdoor rides at Clacton Pier due to health and safety risks posed by the strong winds.

A decision was taken to close the rides on Sunday, March 10 and the following Saturday, March 16, to ensure the safety of both customers and staff.

Meanwhile, the new porch and entrance booth for the circus on the Jolly Roger Arena was blown away from its fixings and became lodged precariously against the pier’s railings.

Nigel Brown, pier communications manager, said that no chances are taken when strong winds sweep the coast.

“Each ride has been properly assessed and when it gusts to a certain level they are closed on health and safety grounds,” he said.

“There have been various incidents around the country in recent years and we all have to be very mindful and make sure that those coming to enjoy our attractions do so in the knowledge they are going to be safe.

“Equally we do not want to put our own staff at risk in those types of conditions.”

Fortunately, the Helter Skelter – which has just returned from its winter holidays in Edinburgh – was unaffected on this occasion.

“In 2013 it was blown to pieces, quite literally, by high winds and we were keeping our fingers crossed this time,” Mr Brown added.

“It was repaired and made stronger six years ago and that has paid off.”

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