If, like me, you love going on the Ball Slammer, the Pisswazzer, or Steve: The Ride, then chances are you were a regular on shit 20p kids’ rides during your childhood. For just 20 of your parents’ hard-earned p, you would climb on, or strap yourself in, or just sit there, and whoosh off to giddying heights of up to TWO FEET off the ground. Alternatively you’d whizz around at stomach churning speeds of 0.5mph.
I loved them, and here are my top five 20p rides –
5. Postman Pat
You sit in Pat’s van (right next to Pat, if you please), and the van… wobbles about a bit. The end.
This became popular a bit after my ride-riding career, but that never stopped me attempting to fit in the van as a large child, and then as a teenager, and then as a 34 year old woman. They don’t like me in our Morrisons.
This was ace because of all the lights and buttons inside the cockpit – you really felt as if you worked for NASA. (Maybe everyone else at NASA had died or something.) You sat in the cockpit, held on (if you were a gimp), and the rocket would go up and down while twisting round a bit. This ride gets into the top 5 for its immersive theming (the buttons you could press that went “WOOWOOWOOWOO”).
Similar to the rocket, but this ride places higher for scare value. The rocket went up about a foot while staying firmly rooted to its base, but the helicopter soared to heights of over 5 FEET. I know this to be true because I was often level with the top of my parents. I think that’s how that works.
The helicopter extended on a metal bracket thing, and would wobble precariously, making the rider fear death. That was the whole point.
I was always terrified on this ride, but that didn’t stop me going on it all the bastard time. The horse (normally named Janet by me) alternated between a gentle canter and a 60mph gallop, during which you were lucky if you managed to stay on. I eventually started riding real horses, but they used to just sniff when I tried to get them to do something. Thanks to this ride, I knew the answer was to insert another 20p.
1. Mini Wheel
This is the best ride in the world, because it goes round and round and round and round and round, while the other kids in the queue start crying because you won’t get off it. Of course, you have to run out of 20ps eventually, and then you have three choices:
1: Get off the ride
2: Start crying and threatening to do a wee
3: Ask the other parents in the queue if they’ll pay for you another ride
Probably don’t pick #3, because that will lead to your Mum manhandling you away, telling you off for “showing her up”.