Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 13:44 UK

Blaze destroys rides at fun park


The fire damaged an unused ride at the Pleasureland site

A blaze has ripped through an amusement park in Southport for the fourth time in two years.

More than 40 firefighters were called to tackle the fire, which destroyed part of Pleasureland Amusement Park.

Owner Norman Wallis said he feared the blaze, believed to have started in the River Caves ride on Tuesday night, caused thousands of pounds of damage.

He said: "We will not let this stop us but it has been a setback, it is such a shame, children love this place."

Whole site

Just an hour before the blaze started, Mr Wallis had been fixing smashed windows at the park.

He said: "The past three times we have had a fire it has been caused by arsonists.

"We have windows broken, fires, it just does not make sense.

"It is just pathetic, pointless and has caused so much disruption.

"All we want to do is get Pleasureland up and running and make it accessible for all the family."

Mr Wallis bought the park two years ago and said he had invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in it.

It had been left to ruin, but he has managed to restore the majority of it and hopes to get the whole site open as soon as possible.

The park first opened with a figure-of-eight rollercoaster and a slide back in 1913.

It was based at a site in Kings Garden but moved to its current home on Marine Drive in 1924.

Merseyside Police and the fire service are investigating the fire.

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