Tears over the end of Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Wild Mouse rollercoaster

Pleasure Beach boss Amanda Thompson
Pleasure Beach boss Amanda Thompson

Pleasure Beach boss Amanda Thompson has said she cried over having to take down one of the park’s best known and craziest rides.

And fans of the Wild Mouse have also reacted with disappointment at the announcement that the ride has been dismantled.

READ MORE: Ride is over after 60 years for much-loved Blackpool roller coaster

The move came as the park remains closed for the winter and preparations are made for the coming season.

Amanda Thompson said: “I attended the dismantling of The Wild Mouse and was in tears.

“It was a huge part of my life. I can not explain how sad and disappointed I am.

The Wild Mouse ride

The Wild Mouse ride

“Regrettably some rides just have a life span.

“The only good news from this is that we can create a different thrill for all our fans in the future.

“We are all really sad at Pleasure Beach. This has been truly devastating for us all.

“Blackpool Pleasure Beach has to change, that is what we are all about and has been since we first opened.”

The Pleasure Beach today declined to say what will happen to the Wild Mouse or whether it can be refurbished for use elsewhere but only stressed that its removal will allow it to bring in a new ride in the future.

The permanent closure of the Wild Mouse has been accompanied by the removal of the facade of the former Trauma Towers attraction.

In a statement it said: “Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a constantly evolving amusement park and has been for the past 122 years.

“The changes it has seen over the years are what has made it the great park it is today. This, coupled with a relatively small amount of space, means that in order to progress and look to the future we occasionally alter the landscape of the park to make way for future developments.

Workers at the Promenade site are working on the new £16.25m ICON ride.

It will be the UK’s first double launch rollercoaster and is scheduled to open in Spring 2018.

The Wild Mouse was one of the classic wooden roller coasters beloved by enthusiasts across the world.

Opened in 1958, it was one of only four remaining wooden Wild Mouse coasters left in the world.

Begun in 1955, both the design and construction of the Wild Mouse was done entirely in-house by the Pleasure Beach.

Designed by Frank Wright and opened in 1958 it was the first major ride to be built at the Pleasure Beach since the Second World War.

The ride was subsequently modified in 1960s by the Velare Brothers (the originators of Sky Wheels and Space Wheels) making the ride about one third longer.

It was the smallest of the “adult” rides at the Pleasure Beach.

Piers owner Peter Sedgwick today poured cold water over rumours that the Wild Mouse might be rebuilt on South Pier.

That followed a tweet from South Pier at the weekend which said: “If you’ve ever tried to get rid of mice you’ll find it’s incredibly hard. Those wild things just keep coming back...”

He said the pier did have plans to bring in a new ride this summer but it would not be the Pleasure Beach’s ride.

He said: “It is the end of an era.

“I rode the Wild Mouse when I was younger and I absolutely loved it. It was a great ride and a shame that it has had to be taken down.”

Andy Hine, from the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain, said that although a great ride the Wild Mouse had come to the end of its life and while its notorious “shake rattle and roll” would be missed, it would never be allowed to be constructed like that in today’s safety-conscious world.

He said: “It is very sad to see it go but the Pleasure Beach is not a museum, it is a business and the reason it has been so successful over 100 years is because it has continued to invest in new rides.

“It was the wildest Wild Mouse in the world and we have been very fortunate to have had it for so long. There is no way they would have had this in the States.”

He said if a ride starts to cost too much to maintain and does not carry enough passengers then a business would have no choice but to think about replacing it.

“Unfortunately things have to come to an end. The Thompson family are continuing to invest and we will have the Icon ride to look forward to.”

Mad mouse

The Wild Mouse was notorious for its rattling switch-back style which took passengers through a series of sudden 90 degree turns and sharp drops including a break out over the heads of the queue.

Begun in 1955, both the design and construction was done entirely in-house by the Pleasure Beach.

It was designed by Frank Wright and opened in 1958.

It was the first major ride to be built at the Pleasure Beach since the Second World War. It had a refurb in 2007.