Children’s playground ride banned 30 years ago for being too dangerous is set for a comeback

Children’s playground ride banned 30 years ago for being too dangerous is set for a comeback

It's a scene which has long been consigned to the pages of history by overzealous health and safety officials. The witch's hat – one of Britain's best

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It’s a scene which has long been consigned to the pages of history by overzealous health and safety officials.

The witch’s hat – one of Britain’s best-loved rides – disappeared from playgrounds 30 years ago over concerns it was too dangerous for children.

But now it is set for a comeback – in the place it was invented almost 100 years ago and from where the last example disappeared in the mid-1980s.

The witch's hat ¿ one of Britain's best-loved rides ¿ disappeared from playgrounds 30 years ago over concerns it was too dangerous for children

The witch's hat ¿ one of Britain's best-loved rides ¿ disappeared from playgrounds 30 years ago over concerns it was too dangerous for children

The witch’s hat – one of Britain’s best-loved rides – disappeared from playgrounds 30 years ago over concerns it was too dangerous for children

But now it is set for a comeback ¿ in the place it was invented almost 100 years ago and from where the last example disappeared in the mid-1980s

But now it is set for a comeback ¿ in the place it was invented almost 100 years ago and from where the last example disappeared in the mid-1980s

But now it is set for a comeback – in the place it was invented almost 100 years ago and from where the last example disappeared in the mid-1980s

A modified version of the ride – which is correctly known as the ocean wave – has been installed at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The conical swing is balanced on a central pole which wobbles unpredictably. But whereas the original rides ‘had a high risk of inflicting lethal injury’ – according to a 2011 report by the Children’s Play Advisory Service – the new version has a mechanism which keeps the ride spinning but prevents crushing into the pole.

And in case a child should take a tumble, soft flooring has been placed beneath the ride to cushion their fall.

Oliver Wicksteed, the great grandson of the ride’s inventor Charles and chairman of the trust which runs the amusement park, said: ‘The witch’s hat disappeared from the playgrounds of Britain more than a generation ago but is remembered fondly by so many.

‘Bringing it back is about giving children the chance to enjoy good old-fashioned thrills and spills.’

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