Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Corkscrew rollercoaster auction

The front carriage comes complete with four seats and harnesses

The front carriage of an iconic rollercoaster is being sold in an online auction for charity.

Alton Towers said it was selling part of the Corkscrew ride on eBay as memorabilia for fans.

Europe's first double-looped rollercoaster was decommissioned by the Staffordshire theme park in November as it said technology had moved on.

The carriage comes with four authentic seats and harnesses and is due to be auctioned from 1000 GMT on Tuesday.

'Christmas present'

The ride is believed to have carried an estimated 43 million people since it opened on 4 April 1980 and cost about 1.25m to build.

Since it officially closed on 9 November the theme park said it had received hundreds of requests for parts to be sold off as memorabilia.

Park managers said the proceeds of the sale would be donated to Merlin's Magic Wand children's charity to help fund holidays and memorable experiences for seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged children around the world.

Morwenna Angove, sales and marketing director for Alton Towers Resort, said: "We have been astonished by the level of interest in the ride since announcing its departure and are confident that this exclusive offer will make someone very happy this Christmas."

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