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Excitement builds ahead of half-term opening

Easter only seems like yesterday but already the excitement is starting to grow as we prepare to open every day during the May half term holidays.

All the park’s rides and attractions are open throughout the holiday week, with our new Wicky’s Farmyard proving a real hit for the whole family since its opening last month.

You can also enjoy the thrills of Dinosaur Valley, hold on tight on Galaxy Invaders, climb on board our lakeside boats, or enjoy the thrills of traditional favourites such as Rocky River Falls, the Paratrooper and the Dodgems.

Also keep an eye out for our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations throughout the week.

Many of you have made positive comments about the work being done around the park as part of our @play heritage project, supported by a grant of £1.89million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

That includes the recent opening of our heritage playground, featuring what we believe to be the oldest playground swing in the world, made by Charles Wicksteed a century ago.

Charles was the creator of swings and slides as we know them today, and he founded the park as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families’ health and wellbeing

The playground celebrates Charles’ work and also contains a Wicksteed rocking horse dating back 80 years as well as reconstructions of a 1921 slide, and the Ocean Wave, one of Charles’ most popular rides and nicknamed the Witch’s Hat because of its cone-shaped appearance.

The heritage playground has been created with the help of playground manufacturer Wicksteed Leisure and we hope it will become a much-loved, free attraction.

The project has also led to the launch of a digital archive, developed with digital archive specialists TownsWeb Archiving, which contains historical photos, plans and memorabilia tracing the story of Charles Wicksteed and his remarkable vision and creativity.

The archive (archive.wicksteedpark.org) is an evolving collection of items relating to the heritage of Wicksteed Park and is welcoming contributions from people who have photos and memorabilia associated with the park.

So next time you are tidying up the garage or the loft, keep an eye out for any items that might be of interest, we’d love to see them.

Oliver Wicksteed, chairman, Wicksteed Charitable Trust

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