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Page last updated at 07:46 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008
Final ride for the Corkscrew

By Duncan Crawford
Newsbeat reporter, Alton Towers

Thousands of people have queued in the rain to have a last ride on the Corkscrew at Alton Towers in Staffordshire.

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Riding The Corkscrew before it closes

The first double-looped rollercoaster in Europe has closed after 28 years of service.

In that time it carried about 43 million people and travelled more than 820,000 miles - equivalent to going to the moon and back nearly four times.

On Sunday the theme park opened for a special celebration of the ride.

It looks old now, the spiralling yellow metal steel is dirty and brown, and as you twist through the air at speeds of up to 44mph it makes creaky sounds.

Compared to newer, bigger rides such as Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, and Rita - Queen of Speed, it doesn't really compare in the thrill stakes.

Some disagree though, 20 year-old Sam Worthington told Newsbeat he is upset that it's closing: "It's a real shame they're getting rid of it.
Corkscrew
Thrill-seekers queued in the rain to take one last ride on Sunday

"It was the first ride that went upside down. I'm really going to miss it. I've ridden it many times over the years."

Fifteen year-old Tom told Newsbeat he was glad he got a last chance to ride it: "It was the first rollercoaster I ever went on and I just went on it for the last time ever.

"I'm never going to go on it again. I'm not going to cry though."

Russell Barnes, divisional director at the park, told Newsbeat that rollercoaster technology had moved on and a bigger, better ride would take its place.

He wouldn't tell us what though: "I can't give any clues as to what it is, because it's all shrouded in immense secrecy."

It's hoped the new ride will be launched in two years time.

Now the dismantling work begins.

Workers clearing the site have already found more than 600 watches, some underwear, a diamond wedding ring and an artificial leg.

They've appealed for the owner of the leg to claim it, but no one has so far.



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