Fruit machines to be banned on pier

GAMBLING machines are to be removed from a popular Suffolk pier because the owner believes they do not fit in with the resort's “family” image.The decision has been made by Steven Bournes, owner of Southwold Pier, who is also planning other changes, including conversion of an existing function hall into 12 flats at a cost of £2.

By David Green

GAMBLING machines are to be removed from a popular Suffolk pier because the owner believes they do not fit in with the resort's “family” image.

The decision has been made by Steven Bournes, owner of Southwold Pier, who is also planning other changes, including conversion of an existing function hall into 12 flats at a cost of £2.2million.

Mr Bournes talked about his plans yesterday as a new “fun” telescope was unveiled at the end of the pier.


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Gambling machines have been a feature of the amusement arcade for decades but Mr Bournes said he did not believe they fitted with Southwold's image.

“If people want to gamble in the arcades they can go to Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth but I don't think we want it here,” he said.

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The amusement arcade would remain and the space occupied by the gambling machines would be replaced by more games for fun.

The new “fun” telescope at the end of the pier has been designed by local inventor Tim Hunkin, who has previously been responsible for the pier's water clock and its Under the Pier Show, which features zany “hands on” contraptions for visitors.

The telescope, which is called the Quantum Tunnelling Telescope and is complete with soundtrack, shows spoof scenes off Southwold, including Tony Blair and George Bush on water skis, a tanker going down and spilling 147,000 tonnes of oil and a huge shark in the vicinity of bathers.

A plaque attached to the mounting of the telescope suggests it had been invented at a secret laboratory at Orford Ness.

Mr Bournes said he would also be asking Mr Hunkin to design a weather station which would allow visitors to gauge the tides, wind, rain and sunshine.

Plans to replace the function hall with 12 two-bedroomed apartments for holidaymakers have yet to be discussed by Waveney District Council's development control committee.

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