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Pleasure Beach pilots evening sessions as schools break up for summer

PUBLISHED: 13:36 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:36 23 July 2020

Directors, brothers Jamie, left, and Aaron Jones, at the roller coaster ready to welcome the public back to the Pleasure Beach at Great Yarmouth. The second evening session, to add to the two morning and afternoon slots, will be held again this Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Directors, brothers Jamie, left, and Aaron Jones, at the roller coaster ready to welcome the public back to the Pleasure Beach at Great Yarmouth. The second evening session, to add to the two morning and afternoon slots, will be held again this Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

One of Great Yarmouth’s most famous seafront attractions is hoping its nighttime sessions will take off as the six-week holiday gets under way.

Jamie Jones (right), said he knew it would be a challenge getting people to come along at night, but that staff were willing to 'give it a go' and see what happens. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJamie Jones (right), said he knew it would be a challenge getting people to come along at night, but that staff were willing to 'give it a go' and see what happens. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Schools broke up last week for the summer, but the Pleasure Beach’s first evening session was “disappointing” according to Jamie Jones, one of the theme park’s directors.

He said: “We ran our first evening session [on Wednesday] from 6.15pm to 9.15pm, but sadly it wasn’t as busy as we’d hoped for.

“They began on July 22, but with the customary seafront fireworks cancelled to avoid crowds congregating - which is usually a big pull for us on a normal summertime Wednesday - the numbers weren’t staggering.”

He added: “Our daytime sessions have been doing really well, with tickets selling out on our first day of trading and again last Saturday. It’s going to be more of a challenge to get people along on a nighttime, but we’re giving it a go.

“If it works, we’ll keep doing it. If not, we’ll try something else. It’s a funny old time we’re living in.”

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach reopened on July 11, and daytime sessions have been selling out so far.  Picture: Denise BradleyGreat Yarmouth Pleasure Beach reopened on July 11, and daytime sessions have been selling out so far. Picture: Denise Bradley

The evening sessions, according to Mr Jones, should be a hit. He said they are “full of excitement” as the lights on the rides “give a whole new dimension” to the park when the sun goes down.

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He said: “It’s a case of waiting and seeing, but we know that the tourists are definitely coming back to the seaside. Yesterday, I was speaking to people from Bristol and Essex who’d come along for the day.”

For the directors at the park, the most frustrating thing is the weather.

The Pleasure Beach reopening on Saturday 11th July 2020. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Pleasure Beach reopening on Saturday 11th July 2020. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Jones said: “The social distancing measures and sanitising stations have gone down perfectly. The thing putting people off isn’t the reduced crowds or change in atmosphere from normal times - it’s bad weather.

“Saturday again is poised to look pretty wet and thundery so we may cancel the evening session for that.

“I think every bank holiday during lockdown was glorious, and as soon as we can re-open the weather decides to give us grief.”

To attend one of the evening sessions on Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays, guests need only book in the normal way online or at the gate.

The rollercoaster, and other rides, look fantastic at night and The rollercoaster, and other rides, look fantastic at night and "change the entire experience", says Jamie Jones. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Jones said: “People can be confident they’ll have a safe and enjoyable time when they get here. They can trust us to do that for them.


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