Crowds flock to South Shields seafront - despite Bank Holiday Metro work fears

Hundreds of people flocked to South Shields seafront to enjoy a Good Friday day of fun - despite fears Metro disruption may cause problems.

Friday, 19th April 2019, 4:46 pm
Updated Friday, 19th April 2019, 4:54 pm
All the fun of the fair at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park on Good Friday.

South Marine Park and Ocean Beach Pleasure Park were awash with visitors on Good Friday, enjoying rides and sweet treats.

Traders were initially worried the lack of Metros between Gateshead Stadium to Hebburn/Brockley Whins, until Easter Sunday, may have caused problems.

Visitors enjoying South Marine Park on Good Friday

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The trains have been pulled to allow 1.6 kilometres of line to be replaced between Gateshead Stadium and Felling as part of the £350m Metro: all change modernisation programme.

However, Mike Henderson, owner of Lakeshore Railroad, which operates the trains in South Marine Park, was pleased with how the day was panning out.

He said: “It’s only early but so far it’s gone very well.

“Put it this way nothing can be worse than last Bank Holiday Monday, the weather was so bad we didn’t even bother to put a train on.

Jan Slater with children Jasmine (8) and Jacob (5) after a soaking on the Log Flume ride.

“Today we’ve got two on the go, in total we’ll probably end up doing 60 laps of the park.

“I guess the Metro has to be updated, and it’s never going to be a good time to do it, but the weekend is supposed to get ever warmer, so hopefully we’ll still have lots of people coming down.”

Michael Sheeran, one of the owners of Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, said he’s disappointed the works had to be carried out on Easter weekend and hopes it doesn’t put people off.

He said: “It is disappointing, but we’re open all of the Bank Holiday weekend, so hopefully people would still be able to find the time if they were struggling to visit.

The Log Flume at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park , on Good Friday

“So far it’s been busy, our new log flume ride is proving popular, it’s the first time we’ve had this type of ride here for over 25 years.

“We’re hoping the weather stays nice and everyone has great time this Easter.”

Jan Slater, 31, from the Nook, South Shields, had the chance to experience the log flume with her children, Jasmine, eight and Jacob, five, while Husband Mark, 35, and youngest son Harry, two watched on.

Mark said: “They’ve had a great time, but they look rather wet.

The Baker family enjoying an ice cream in Bents Park, South Shields on Good Friday. l-r Emily (9), Callum (12), Lucie-Mai (5) and Arichie (4) (front)

“We always come down here every year, it’s always good fun.

“I’m just itching to go and get my fish and chips now.”

Youngsters enjoying South Marine Park's train.