History of Richards Wheel

The story of Richard and the wheel starts in 1966 when aged 4, I saw the big wheel at Skegness and fell in love, it was clean, white, bright and spectacular. Its seats were like spaceships - it was actually called 'Flying Saucers'. Unlike other wheels it could turn on its base, it made a great 'gravelly' sound and even gave the operator a ride as the whole base frame rotated.

It was truly a wheel amongst wheels. It surely had no equal.

Every year we would visit the wheel at Skegness, my mother commented that I could tell if it was moving from any vantage-point in town. While making sandcastles on the beach there would be an intermittent sound of "its going round on its base mum!"(poor parents!). From 1966-1969 we went to Skegness to visit 'my wheel', until 1969, when the family decision was to go to Weston Super Mare, for a change of scenery. My mum had placated me with don?t worry "there is a big wheel on the beach, as your brother and sister got stuck on top of it in 1962".

So that year we did not visit Skegness but headed for Weston Super Mare..and disaster ! For there was no wheel to get stuck on. It had gone, there was not even a funfair. I was traumatised, and the decision was made to return to Skegness the following year but also to research other suitable destinations, suitability being defined in relation to the quality of the Big wheels at particular resorts!

Going through the brochures we uncovered the city of Portsmouth with its seaside resort of Southsea, its important historic links, naval traditions, multiple piers and..the twin wheel of the one at Skegness. There was only one tiny photo in the 1970 Southsea guide but from this I could determine that it was nearly the same colour- blue/white, it was actually purple/white, the seats were smaller, but they were still "Flying Saucer" designs.

I couldn't wait to go.

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 © Richard A. Ryan 2008. 

Bottons Corbiere ferris wheel at Skegness
Bottons ferris wheel Skegness

Brochure photo of the Southsea wheel

Southsea wheel - Brochure

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