Helter Skelter to return to Pier

  • 4 March, 2019
  • On the pier
  • Rides activities


The most iconic ride on Clacton Pier is set to
return this weekend after a winter break in Scotland.

The Helter Skelter was bought by Billy and Elliot
Ball soon after the brothers took over the attraction in 2009 to make a
statement about their intentions for the future.

The ride had famously been used in national television
advertising for Marks and Spencer prior to being installed at Clacton.

In recent years the Helter Skelter has wintered
away to protect it from damage from strong winds and salt water that would adversely
affect the paintwork.

It first went to Cardiff and this winter was
part of the seasonal celebrations in Edinburgh and is due back in Clacton
tomorrow (Tuesday).

The ride will be rebuilt and should be back in
operation again this weekend.

The Pier’s communications manager Nigel Brown
said that there have been a number of enquiries about what has happened to the
Helter Skelter.

“We have been asked if it has been sold on by
some while others have asked if and when it is coming back to Clacton,” he
said. “No one needs to worry as this particular ride has great historical and
emotional value to the Pier and is part of its fabric.

“It is good that it is used, rather than sitting
idle during the winter, and at such a prestigious event in Edinburgh.”

It was carefully dismantled last November and
transported to Scotland by lorry.

The Helter Skelter was originally built by English
firm Supercar, a company that specialised in the attraction as well as other rides
such as dodgem tracks.

It was owned by the Traylen family – who had family
connections to the Balls – and who set it up around the London area and Home
Counties. The Manning family, who are also related to the Balls, then took it
to Felixstowe.

Jimmy Godden later bought it and operated it
from Margate in Kent before he closed the business and put it up for sale.

Billy Ball’s best friend’s father bought it to
go along with three or four other Helter Skelters he operated before the Pier
agreed a deal to take it off him ten years ago.

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