Blow for Cyclone as listed status refused Sep 22 2006
by Tina Miles, Southport Visiter
SOUTHPORT’S much-loved Cyclone will NOT be granted Listed Building status.
The reason is because a significant part of it has been dismantled, according to the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), which made its decision late yesterday afternoon.
The news will be devastating for all those who campaigned to protect the structure following the abrupt closure of Pleasureland on September 5.
English Heritage was asked to consider the Cyclone rollercoaster for listing on September 13 and the case was immediately fast-tracked, but has sadly failed.
An English Heritage spokeswoman said: “English Heritage agrees with the DCMS that unfortunately this rollercoaster has been altered too much and not enough of the original structure remains for it to be Listed.
Much of this was due to a major fire in December 1984 where the original structure was damaged and had to be rebuilt.
“We also noted that demolition of the Cyclone began shortly after its closure on September 5 and much of the south east end of the rollercoaster has now been demolished.
“The Cyclone is not the oldest rollercoaster of its type and is not part of a wider group of historically significant entertainment buildings - an important factor when assessing whether a building or structure is listable.
“We are saddened that buildings and structures don’t have stronger protection while they are being considered for listing, but we hope this will be reviewed in forthcoming changes to the heritage protection system.”
The judgement will anger hundreds of people in our town, including the Southport protesters who staged a sit-in on top of the town’s 60ft Cyclone ride on Monday and took part in further demonstrations this week.
Peter Crompton and Alastair Bone, who call themselves the Southport Preservation Society, were campaigning to save the rollercoaster after workers with chainsaws began dismantling the wooden structure last week.
And yesterday, as more people gathered outside the closed amusement park with banners, Peter took to the skies in a light aircraft to take photographs to send to the English Heritage.
On Wednesday evening, a convoy of about 100 demonstrators including small children and pensioners joined the men to wave banners, blow whistles and honk their car horns in protest against the destruction of the ride.
Peter, a technician, said: “The support was absolutely incredible. We had to do something because we are running out of time.”
But the support was not enough to save the ride from being axed.
Peter, 35, said: “From the press coverage we’ve got it’s now bringing in more interest and consequently more information has come to light and I was contacted by a rambler who gave us photographs of newts he has photographed at Pleasureland living under the Cyclone.”
Merseyside Police Wildlife Liaison Officer Steven Harris said: “I have contacted English Nature and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust who said they have no records of great crested newts at the site.”
'It was never a moneyspinner':
SEFTON’S cabinet member for leisure and tourism, Cllr Lord Ronnie Fearn said: “Looking back at the history of the building it would be very nice to get it Listed, but a lot of residents who are protesting have never been on the ride or haven’t been on it for many years, it was never a money spinner in Pleasureland in these last 10 years.
“If it was to remain it may interfere with any other kind of development which we come forward within the next 18 months.”