We-love it...top verdict over ride

Clare Griffiths with Hayley, Ben and Luke Martin
Clare Griffiths with Hayley, Ben and Luke Martin
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WE all love the wheel.

That was the verdict from the first passengers to enjoy a ride on Blackpool’s newest attraction.

WE all love the wheel.

Views across Blackpool from the big wheel

Views across Blackpool from the big wheel

That was the verdict from the first passengers to enjoy a ride on Blackpool’s newest attraction.

Clare Griffiths, from Bispham, with her daughter and grandsons were the first to climb aboard the 33m high wheel installed in St John’s Square.

Clare said: “It was a very smooth ride and it’s good value because we went round quite a few times.

“It’s a view you don’t get from anywhere else and the square looks really nice and very continental from up there.”

Her grandsons Ben, nine, and Luke, 11, also gave it the thumbs up.

Luke said: “You could see for miles including over to the football ground.”

Passengers get a panoramic view over Blackpool as they slowly complete a full revolution, with the landscape stretching south to the Pleasure Beach and north towards Cleveleys.

Closer to the wheel, the ride offers a birds eye view of the square, Brilliance snaking down Birley Street, and the rooftops of the Winter Gardens complex.

Cynthia Lewis, 67, and Arthur Gifford, 77, from Cleveleys, said people of all ages would enjoy the experience.

Cynthia said: “It’s certainly something different and I think it will draw people in to Blackpool. It was a very smooth ride and we went round about five times.”

Kelly Ward, visiting Blackpool from her home in Cheltenham with her eight-year-old daughter Mia, said: “It’s a different view of Blackpool.

“We were out shopping and saw it and Mia wanted to go on it.

“I think it’s good because if you are a visitor you can seen how Blackpool stretches out and where all the other rides are.”

Manchester-based Jan de Koning has brought the wheel to Blackpool, after taking it to the likes of Bristol, Lincoln and Caernarvon in North Wales in past years.

He said: “It is always popular. There is something about a big wheel which seems to capture people’s imaginations and the novelty of it being in the town centre strikes a chord with them.

“It goes round at a nice gentle pace, it’s an observation experience.

“We have had a lot of interest from the locals, and when we were putting it up everyone was asking about it.

“But then when the season gets going, we’ll get the tourists on it too.”

The wheel is fitted with 24 gondolas which can each take a maximum of six passengers, and at night it can be illuminated with 10,000 lights.

It will operate throughout Easter until June 5, and Blackpool Council bosses hope to bring it back later in the season if it succeeds.