Thompson honoured to collect OBE

Amanda Thompson, managing director Blackpool pleasure beach, with her Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal

Amanda Thompson, managing director Blackpool pleasure beach, with her Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal

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Amanda Thompson, managing director of Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, has been awarded an OBE for services to her industry.

She is the fourth generation of her family to run the popular attraction that welcomes thousands of visitors every year and has been visited by royalty.

The business was founded by her great grandfather William George Bean in 1896 who wanted to create an American style amusement park.

Today his great granddaughter is in charge of a modern theme park featuring famous white-knuckle rides whose latest attraction is Nickelodeon Land opened last year which features 12 rides, a Nickelodeon shop and a new family restaurant.

Mrs Thompson said: “This is a huge honour, a huge honour. I was really, really thrilled.

“Prince William came along to the park when Blackpool was playing in the premiership, Prince Edward came along last year to see Nickelodeon Land, Prince Andrew has been and the Queen - I think the only member of the Royal Family who hasn’t been is Prince Charles.”

She added: “It’s the generations of people that make it special and the fact that the park has been open for so many years, and we’re still fighting strong and are a private company.

“All over the world the pleasure beach is highly regarded and my grandfather was friends with Walt Disney.

“I was educated in the south and used to drag people up screaming but once they got there they were life members of Blackpool, so really it’s a great resort for everyone to have fun in.

“What’s good is it changes all the time and so constantly it beats everybody’s expectations - it’s got heritage, history and absolutely everything you need to have fun today.”