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  • Scarborough
  • Charlotte O'Sullivan
  • 27-04-2017 16:02:52

We are very excited here at What 2 Do – Where 2 Go, to share the exciting news that this local Scarborough attraction has now been granted a Grade II listed status.

The Water Chute at the North Bay Railway was granted the status by Historic England on Friday, last week, ensuring that it has now been protected for future generations to come and enjoy this landmark. The attraction, which has proved popular in Scarborough for decades, will avoid any future developments taking place and will allow locals and tourists to continue to visit this spot.

The listing state that: “The water chute, a water ride of 1932 designed by Charles Wicksteed, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: Date and rarity: it is the third-oldest water chute in Britain, one of only three such rides surviving from before the Second World War, and one of the oldest surviving water-based rides in the world; Design interest: as an evocative example of early 20th Century amusements aimed primarily at children and families, with a rider experience that is the same as when the ride first opened; Association: designed by the manufacturer and philanthropist Charles Wicksteed, who was of national and international influence on attitudes to children’s recreation, and the provision of purpose-designed play equipment. The first water chute in England was opened in 1893 in London’s Earl’s Court. Following this, others were built at Southport Pleasure Beach in 1903 and Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1907. In addition to this one, two other examples survive, at Wicksteed Park, Kettering and at East Park, Kingston-Upon-Hull. All three were designed and installed by Charles Wicksteed, designer, inventor and owner of an engineering company which originally manufactured steam ploughing engines, bicycles and automatic gear boxes, but came to specialise in children’s play equipment. The water chute in Scarborough was opened in 1932 as a feature of the Pleasure Park, formally known as Northstead Manor Gardens. The ride is currently owned and operated by North Bay Railway and was refurbished by them in 2007. The roofs and their supporting structures are modern additions. Fabric replacement has taken place elsewhere, including the rails and stanchions of the chute itself, and the access steps.”

David Humphreys, managing director of North Bay Railway Company Limited, said that he was delighted with the news. He stated that: “English Heritage approached us asking about the history of the ride and we were delighted to get the news that ride has been listed. We feel we offer something for every generation here .”

It’s all about having fun and getting soaked on this attraction, voted as one of the ‘Top 10 Vintage Seaside Rides and Fairground Attractions’ in the UK by The Guardian. A short plunge down a ramp from a timber cabin ends as the boat-shaped carriage splashes into the lake, before sliding along the water. This refreshing ride for a hot summer’s day is next to North Bay Railway, which also runs Scarborough’s miniature railway, where the train trundles along the seafront from Peasholm Park to Scalby Mills and the Sea Life Centre – and the boating lake, with its fleet of pedalos. It also hosts the Sky Trail, for those adventurers and thrill seekers.

It is such wonderful news that a part of Scarborough’s history has been acknowledged and appreciated and we just can’t wait until Summer so that we can go and enjoy it for ourselves!

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