By Susie Kearley
We arrive at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach at the start of the summer season and adults are zipping round a ‘Segway Grand Prix’, while children ride the carousels. The log flume is spectacularly popular, attracting long queues and leaving the riders looking like drowned rats. Fortunately, there’s a drying off machine on the sidewalk. We grin at a soggy family who seem to be in high spirits.
From Victorian gallopers to modern adrenaline rides, there are attractions to appeal to people of all ages. One of the modern thrill rides reminds me of a time when I spent the entire ride wanting to get off, eyes shut, waiting for the experience to end. So I’m sticking to the kiddies’ rides.
I spot a ghost train! I’ve always been a sucker for ghost trains, so my husband (Vic) and I get on board. Our creaky old carriage crashes through the doors into darkness. Then we’re faced with Morticia, followed by a disfigured skeletal body. Everything goes dark as we pass a spooky graveyard and other haunting scenes. Our carriage ascends to reveal a first floor view of the Pleasure Beach. In seconds, we’re back inside the haunted house, preparing to meet our impending doom, but the ride ends. Vic comments, “I didn’t get squirted with water or have something dangling in my face!” But it was fun anyway.
We return to the promenade at 9pm to see the town lit up for the night. The Wellington Pier has a bowling alley, pool tables, amusements and a bar. The Britannia Pier has a theatre and a bar with a disco. The colourful flashing lights of the amusement arcades give the seafront a warm glow, and we’re lured inside, where we make 34p on the 2p slot machines. Quids in – well 34p in – we quit while we’re ahead, and return to base, to spend our winnings.Buy Now