Recent Pier Press

Sooty signs contract for permanent funfair on Southsea's South Parade Pier

Sooty signs contract for permanent funfair on Southsea's South Parade Pier

The team at the pier trialled the fair, which is called Kidz Island over the summer and decided to take on the fair permanently.

There will be the dodgems, as well as rides to suit younger children and some that are suitable for parents, too.

Richard plans to turn the pier into an ‘theme park’ atmosphere, with colourful decor and a painted floor to complete the look.

He will bring Sooty to the city at least three times a year for meet and greets and photo opportunities.

The new fair will launch around the Easter holidays next year and will be open most weekends and school holidays.

The 50-year-old puppeteer, stage presenter and screenwriter owned Brean Leisure park for six years.

He said: ‘Rides and amusements are my first love. I want to make people smile and the great thing about what we do here is, because it’s for kids, the first time they see a little ride for them their little face smiling and that’s what I want to see here.’

Owner Tommy Ware Snr and his son Tommy Jr have welcomed in Richard’s plans and say they are looking forward to the launch of their new activities, including boat trips on the new boat deck that was opened earlier this month.

Tommy Snr said: It’s all for the people of Portsmouth, so that they have a fair on the pier. It can only be here by people supporting it.’

It’s the first time the pier will have a permanent funfair and amusement fixture since the Ware family reopened it in April 2017.

SOUTH Parade Pier is gearing up for a summer full of fun for all the family with the official announcement of a permanent funfair on the pier. Richard Cadell, who is known for being the hand to the much-loved puppet Sooty, has just signed a 15-year contract to run and provide the rides and amusements on the Southsea pier.


South Parade Pier completes last step in reopening after opening of new boat deck

South Parade Pier completes last step in reopening after opening of new boat deck

The £200,000 project will now offer mooring for boats as well as allowing people to fish on the new deck, which was completely removed in 2014 due to storms.

Tommy Ware Jr has overseen the project and said: ‘The fishing is a massive thing on this pier. There’s nowhere you can moor up, this is the only place. And hopefully we can see more people arrive into Southsea by boat.’

From April next year, Exhilaration Boat Rides, which is based on the pier, will offer rib rides around the Solent and to the Isle of Wight.

The boats can take up to 12 passengers, including young children and elderly people from £8.

Mark Laskey, who will run the boat rides and also owns the Best of British Food van on the main pier, said: ‘We’re very pleased to see the deck’s finished as you can imagine. We’ve been planning this for five years. It should be a very big attraction for Portsmouth.

‘It makes sense, we’re a naval city and people expect to see boats. It’s a new, exciting thing for Southsea.’

The owners are also planning to offer mackerel fishing trips, as well as outdoor cinema screenings on the new deck and can even facilitate for weddings.

The new deck uses metal flooring with small holes to allow for adverse weather, so the high tides and waves don’t put pressure on the hydraulics under the pier.

Leader of Portsmouth City Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson, welcomed in the new deck.

He said: ‘The whole city needs to be incredibly grateful to the Tommys for bringing the pier back. It’s absolutely brilliant. Lots of people said it wouldn’t happen and now the whole pier has been restored to working use. It’s absolutely wonderful.’

THE final step in fully reopening Southsea’s historic seaside pier has finally been made. South Parade Pier has just rebuilt its boat deck - the final part in a series of works to restore the Southsea landmark after it was reopened in April 2017.