by G Radice/H Booth/P Gould/P Grimshaw/R Houghton/D Jones/Kate/M Pavion
: Added 2004 to 2007

The Cyclone at Pleasureland

Length: 2500'
Height: 60'
Max. Speed: 42 mph
Duration of ride: 1 min 45 secs
Trains: 2 trains with 3 cars per train. Riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 18 riders per train.
History: Pleasureland Southport and the Cyclone were closed from 1941 to 1943 due to the park being used for military purposes during World War II.

Courtesy of the excellent website Roller Coaster Data Base

From Champion Newspapers 12th September 2006

By Rebecca Keegan

Pleasureland managing director Amanda Thompson has for the first time spoken about her emotional decision to close the resort’s famous amusement park.

The town’s number one leisure attraction was suddenly closed last Tuesday night, putting more than 50 full-time members of staff on the dole. Hundreds of seasonal workers will also be affected by the decision.

Speaking exclusively to The Champion yesterday (Tuesday, September 12), the daughter of the late boss Geoffrey Thompson said she is upset some Southport residents feel she didn’t care about the park:

“I was saddened to read local residents felt we did not care for Pleasureland. This is simply not true. But I understand how upset they must all feel at the outcome.

“I can assure you and all of them that the decision was far harder for my family and particularly for me, than anyone might imagine,” she said.

Meanwhile, Southport MP John Pugh said: “Since Pleasureland has been in existence since 1912 and survived two world wars, I do not believe it’s beyond the wit of man to run a leisure operation on that site in this or any other economic climate.”

Amanda added: “It was a very difficult decision for our family and the board of directors to close Pleasureland. It was not something we wanted to do at all, but in this current economic climate it was not viable to continue running the park.

“Pleasureland has always been very important to the family and we enjoyed the challenges of being involved with such a wonderful park, but the competition within the region for our market share in leisure time is so huge.”

Amanda took over the running of Pleasureland and Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach when her father, Geoffrey Thompson, died in 2004.

She went to boarding school in Bristol and says all her holidays with her father included a trip to an amusement park: “It was always a treat to come and visit my family during the holidays.” she said: “Parks have always been a huge part of my life. Whenever we went on family holidays, it would always involve a visit to a park, no matter where we were in the world.”

Amanda added: “In spite of the millions of pounds our family has invested over many years, Pleasureland has never managed to make any profit whatsoever and the group could not continue to support it.

“People have so many choices as to how to spend their leisure time these days and we are not only competing against other attractions, but against football grounds, cinemas, shopping malls and low cost airlines to name but a few. As a private family company we could not compete on a scale we needed to, or create the park we wanted to create.”

It has been rumoured that Amanda didn’t make enough time for the park, nor did she invest the time needed to keep it up and running, unlike her late father who had a soft spot for Southport, and loved the resort.

Cyclone Demolition

The sad dismantling of the ride started on 14th September 2006 just nine days after the closure of Pleasureland.

September 15th 2006

Concern over Cyclone Future
by Jamie McLoughlin of The Southport Visitor

THE DEPUTY leader of Sefton Council is concerned about the future of one of Southport’s “most iconic structures”, the Cyclone rollercoaster.

Cllr David Tattersall said: “The ride that is most iconic and of the most importance to the site is The Cyclone, which dates back to the 1930s. It’s something that has got to be saved.”

While the future of the landmark structure remains in doubt, the Meols Ward councillor has urged people to focus on something positive.

“It is a sad day, but we have got to look at the positive,” he said.

“One thing people can be sure about is that there is no way the site can be used for a development such as luxury flats or a supermarket.”

Rick Houghton: Memories

I can't believe they are already dismantling the Cyclone rollercoaster at Pleasureland.

Built in 1937 it is regarded as one of the best 'woodies' of its kind in the world. It was also the first rollercoaster I plucked up the courage to ride as a child.

I am so sad to see chainsaws being used to cut it up! Please please tell me it is to be moved somewhere else? I can't believe they are just going to scrap such a big part of history.

If they do intend to scrap this ride then I have a new found contempt for Amanda Thompson who ultimately must have made the decision. Would her father have let this happen? No way! He understood how much heritage counts in the amusement industry.

I only hope we hear that someone can either save or relocate this terrific rollercoaster.

Rick Houghton is presenter of  'Rick Houghton's Home Run', Mon - Fri from 4pm on Radio City 96.7 Liverpool

Harry Booth: Memories

Having lived in Southport for 27 years I shall miss seeing the Cyclone on my return to see relatives in December.

I first went on it as a young lad in 1950, and can still recall the excitement.

Surely some attempt to sell Pleasureland off could have been made?

Richard Branson wouldn't have been in such a rush as Ms Thompson who obviously doesn't like hard work as her father did.

Who wants to go to Blackpool anyway?

The Cyclone in 2002 with the Space Shot behind. The Space Shot was new this year. Photograph: themagiceye

The Cyclone in 2003. Photograph: themagiceye

The demolition of the Cyclone started in September 2006. Photograph: Southport Forums. Polite Notice: Please do not reproduce this image without permission of phil@southportlive.com.

The Cyclone in 2002. Photograph: themagiceye

A view of the Cyclone shortly before demolition. Photograph: themagiceye

The Cyclone on 21 November 2006. Photograph: Roving Eye


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