11:08am Monday 16th April 2012
TWO East Lancashire teenagers have buckled up to help shape the future of Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Tom Wiggans, 14, from Mellor, and Thomas Boothman, 16, from Padiham, have been selected to join the popular attraction’s Junior Board from hundreds of youngsters.
The 14 board members, who met for the first time this week, will try out rides and suggest future attractions.
They have also been kitted out in 'uniforms' with ID badges.
Tom, who goes to Oakhill College, in Whalley, and lives with parents John and Suzanne and brother Oliver, nine, said: “We gave our opinions on some of the rides. My favourite was the Nickelodeon streak, which is a rollercoaster. I also enjoyed the Spongebob Square Pants splash bash which was a water ride and we fired canons of water of each other.
“We also went on the young kids rides and were asked if we thought kids would like them.
“I've been going to Blackpool all my life and I'm really glad. Since Amanda Thompson started as managing director, she has been trying to clean the park up. Blackpool has been trying to get rid of its reputation as dirty and horrible so I thought it would be good to apply for the board.
“I would like to see another white-knuckle ride at the park. I have been on the Big One lots of times and its very good.
“I understand they are trying to get more family rides as they've never had many families coming. They've got Nickelodeon Land now.
“There has been some complaints from people about paying £5 to get in, but I think its a really good idea because you don't get rough people hanging around or vandalism inside.”
Thomas, 16, who attends Ermysteds Grammar School in Skipton and lives with mum Celeste and sister Emily, said: “The Pleasure Beach should be for all ages from eight to 88. They should keep with the motto 'adults can feel like children again.'
“My favourite is Valhalla, that is spectacular. It's an honour being part of the board as it has played big part in our lives for generations.”
Members sit on the Junior Board, which meets three times a year, until they are 16 when they will 'retire'.
All members receive a season pass entitling them to unlimited riding and visits to the Pleasure Beach.
Managing Director Amanda Thompson OBE said: “I hope they all enjoyed their first board meeting and saw what Pleasure Beach has to offer because one day they could be making the decisions at an executive level if they choose a career in the industry.”
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