Writing about a day in an amusement park is nothing new to me, though my usual audience is roller coaster enthusiasts. However, the language required for publication in a parochial newsletter is, to say the least, somewhat different. It goes without saying that, were I not to adapt my writing style, there would probably be no readers left by the start of paragraph two. Hopefully I have managed to avoid that. Coaster Enthusiasts could easily been one of the species the phrase children of all ages was invented for. My regular experience with these groups left me ideally placed to look after Adam, Brian, Hugh, Oisin, Peter, and Rupert as they explored the delights that Chessington Amusement Park has to offer.
Probably the most rewarding aspect for me in taking young people to amusement parks is to help those that need it to face and beat their fears. One of the newest rides at the park is a roller coaster called Dragon's Fury. Though aimed at a younger audience, the visible section of the ride does present an intimidating appearance. Two of my group elected to keep their feet firmly on terra firma while the remainder rode. Both had, however, voluntarily returned by mid afternoon, and indeed had enjoyed things so much that they insisted on a third go before the end of the day.
The funniest moment of the day for me was loading all six choristers into the Berry Bouncers, a Ribena-sponsored drop ride that reaches all of ten feet into the air, the target audience being four year olds. Everyone nearby got a real kick of seeing the inevitable acting. One poor mother had to explain to her nervous looking child that it wasn't really that scary, and they're just playing. The ride operator did his level best to remain serious, but soon enough was laughing with the rest of us!
It would be remiss of me not to mention the spin ride Rameses Revenge. My ageing stomach cannot handle more than one or two cycles in a day, and these, on the rare occasions they actually happen, need to be well spaced out. It was more than a little impressive, in a somewhat unsettling way, to see the number of our choristers who survived three (and in some cases more) consecutive rides without revisiting earlier meals.
All too soon it was time to leave the park and return to London. The excited chatter on the train journey said more about the day than my trite writings ever could. Though a day in a park like this is not cheap, one should not forget that the boys raised the money themselves by bag packing in Tesco. The writer has not asked, but would be very surprised if they did not consider it well worth the effort!