Attraction to make a splash for years to come

The water chute attraction
The water chute attraction

A Scarborough attraction has been protected for the ages after being granted Grade II listed status.

The Water Chute at the North Bay Railway was granted the status by Historic England on Friday, last week.

It now means the attraction, which has been making a splash in Scarborough for decades, will be protected from any future developments and will be around for future generations to enjoy.

In its listing it stated that: “The water chute, a water ride of 1932 designed by Charles Wicksteed, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

“Date and rarity: it is the third-oldest water chute in Britain, one of only three such rides surviving from before the Second World War, and one of the oldest surviving water-based rides in the world;

“Design interest: as an evocative example of early 20th Century amusements aimed primarily at children and families, with a rider experience that is the same as when the ride first opened;

“Association: designed by the manufacturer and philanthropist Charles Wicksteed, who was of national and international influence on attitudes to children’s recreation, and the provision of purpose-designed play equipment.

“The first water chute in England was opened in 1893 in London’s Earl’s Court. Following this, others were built at Southport Pleasure Beach in 1903 and Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1907. In addition to this one, two other examples survive, at Wicksteed Park, Kettering and at East Park, Kingston-Upon-Hull.

“All three were designed and installed by Charles Wicksteed, designer, inventor and owner of an engineering company which originally manufactured steam ploughing engines, bicycles and automatic gear boxes, but came to specialise in children’s play equipment.

“The water chute in Scarborough was opened in 1932 as a feature of the Pleasure Park, formally known as Northstead Manor Gardens.

“The ride is currently owned and operated by North Bay Railway and was refurbished by them in 2007. The roofs and their supporting structures are modern additions. Fabric replacement has taken place elsewhere, including the rails and stanchions of the chute itself, and the access steps.”

David Humphreys, managing director of North Bay Railway Company Limited, said he was delighted with the news.

He said: “English Heritage approached us asking about the history of the ride and we were delighted to get the news that ride has been listed.

“We feel we offer something for every generation here .”