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Project of the Month – June 2020

Adventure Island – Rage

Since 1976 Adventure Island has been the South East’s premier attraction. Situated in Southend On Sea, originally a sunken garden, the site was purchased by the current owners; the Miller family and redeveloped to what has now become a family theme park for all ages, with both indoor & outdoor activities & rides. So, when in 2019 the Millers invested in a new ride; Axis it was clear that due to the locality some of the older rides needed a refresh.

Having worked with the parks engineering manager at another premier location, Hankinson Whittle, part of Hankinson Group, were the preferred contractor of choice considering their past experience on similar projects at other theme parks across the UK. They originally viewed and quoted for the ride in 2016, but due to local authority issues at the time the works were postponed for 3 years.

Further extensive site surveys were carried out on several rides & attractions and in the Spring of 2019 undertook phase 1 of the works, completing work on The Green Scream, Barnstormer, Green Tidal Wave, & 3 Shells restaurant together with several on site buildings & structures. Included within their initial site survey was the big one, Rage updated from 2016, a 400m rollercoaster capable of reaching speeds of 40mph and a height of 22m with a 97 degree drop and 3 inversion loops, but due to the complexity and size this work was postponed to phase 2 which commenced in October of 2019. Phase 2 now included further works to The Green Scream rollercoaster, Skydrop, Sea Life Adventure & Ramba Zamba rides & main offices.

To our knowledge, Rage had not been painted since installation in 2007 and whilst it was not showing extensive signs of corrosion, the colour scheme had faded and due to location right next to the sea was coated in a fine covering of salt. 

Extensive preparation by water blasting up to 5000psi was undertaken, this dealt with not only light corrosion but ensured the surfaces were chemically cleaned prior to painting.

Their preferred choice of paint manufacturer & specification was Tikkurila, having used the same protective coatings specification extensively on other theme park rides around the UK with great success.

Once cleaned all areas of corrosion were spot primed with a 2-pack surface tolerant epoxy primer, followed by 2-pack epoxy intermediate coat and finished with a 2-pack polyurethane finish a total of some 3000m2.

Their biggest challenge on the project was access, the photo’s perhaps do not do it justice from a location position but the ride is nestled into a corner on the East side of the park with access only available from 2 sides with no option of getting any access inside of the ride.

Their site surveys determined that MEWPS up to 135 feet were required more for outreach than height, this combined with work on Rage not commencing until the end of 2019. Early 2020 weather also became a significant factor as the UK experienced one of the wettest Winters on record.

It took their team led by Stuart Fowler, 5 months to complete all the works, and 10 weeks alone just for Rage.

The outcome is spectacular with a ride restored to its original condition & colour scheme and a client fully satisfied with a planned upgrade of the site over a 12- month period.

Andrew Simpson commented: “Having worked with Paul over 12 years ago in the West country we were delighted to be chosen as the contractor of choice, and whilst Rage was not huge in terms of size the complexity of access & chosen colour scheme made this a very different challenge, but one we are totally satisfied with the outcome and the hard work in adverse weather conditions put in by the team on site”.

Contact Andrew Simpson
Operations Manager Eastern Region

Andrew.simpson@whittleprogrammed.co.uk

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