The fun of the fair is back

Funfair staff, Flynn Chambers and Andrew Ramage are preparing the rides at Seaburn Amusements for the bank holiday weekend.
Funfair staff, Flynn Chambers and Andrew Ramage are preparing the rides at Seaburn Amusements for the bank holiday weekend.
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THE fun of the fair is set to return to Sunderland seafront.

Showman Keith Turner is preparing to re-open Seaburn’s Ocean Beach Park over the bank holiday weekend.

Free admission and a flat rate of £1 for all rides are expected to attract the crowds.

The landmark site has largely stood empty for nearly three years, although it has operated for short spells during the summer months.

Now the popular dodgems and waltzer, along with the mechanical jumping frogs, tacada and power surge rides, will run once again for three days.

“We’re hoping it will be a big success and, if it is, we’ll reopen it again during the holidays,” said 62-year-old Keith.

“It is often difficult to get people down to the seafront, but we’re determined to make a go of it and we’re confident the free admission and £1 per ride rate will help get people in.

“All of the popular rides will be open, all the old favourites.

“A bit of good weather will also be a big help.”

Rundown Ocean Park has, for the most part, stood silent since 2008, when Sunderland City Council evicted the previous tenants after a wrangle over rent.

Keith grew up on the Seaburn site, and his dad was one of the men who built the big dipper in the 60s.

“I love Sunderland, this is where I was born and this is where my heart is,” said the former Redby School pupil.

“We’ve all got a lot of experience in running shows, we’ve been doing this for a long time, so we know what we’re doing.”

He added: “We’re hoping to get a good crowd down there over the three days.

“If we get the right publicity, it will go down really well.”

The amusements will be open from noon until 7pm tomorrow, Sunday and Monday.

@SunEchoJohnston