'Harsh and untrue': Security director slams criticism of Funderworld

Families faced hour-long queues for rides at the Funderworld attraction at Norfolk Showground.

Families faced hour-long queues for rides at the Funderworld attraction at Norfolk Showground. - Credit: Archant

The head of the security firm working at a bank holiday weekend funfair attraction has defended the event's organisation after complaints were made over long queues.

Adam Harding, director of Phoenix Events (East) Ltd, said Funderworld organisers were stuck in "a catch 22" as they had to balance smooth running of the event with increased safety measures because of Covid-19.

Unhappy families who visited the attraction at Norfolk Showground on Sunday took to social media to complain about the "crazy queues" that some said caused waits of more than an hour for a single ride.

But Mr Harding told this newspaper on Monday he felt "some of the comments made were harsh and untrue".

Long queue for bouncy castle at the Funderworld attraction at Norfolk Showground.

Long queue for bouncy castle at the Funderworld attraction at Norfolk Showground. - Credit: Archant

He said: "The queues weren't as big as a lot of people said, and the photos made it look a lot worse than it was.

"The queues look longer than usual because people have to stay two metres apart. Pictures don't always tell the full tale."


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He added: "The rides are not at full capacity, which makes it a bit of a Catch 22. Rides like the Funhouse, for example, would normally have more people on but it's only 10 at a time at the moment. So the queue is going to be longer than usual.

"The majority of the rides are only at 50pc capacity as those are the guidelines we've been given."

Adam Harding, left, has defended the organisation of the Funderworld attraction after some complaints over long queues.

Adam Harding, left, has defended the organisation of the Funderworld attraction after some complaints over long queues. - Credit: Adam Harding

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Criticism of the event rolled in on Sunday afternoon as some said organisers had failed to live up to their pledge of "four hours of free unlimited riding".

Sian Wall said she "lost half the time in the queues", while Lorraine Allen claimed she had "only managed two rides" in two hours, adding there was "absolutely no social distancing".

Mr Harding responded by saying: "There are so many precautions in place to make sure all the boxes are ticked.

"When people first arrive, no-one gets in without a temperature check, and they must track and trace as well. Then there are sanitisers before and after you go in, and every ride has an in and an out.

"Also, attendants are asking people to wear masks when in the queues and on the rides, which is a constant job – especially [on Sunday].

"Health and safety at an event is always big as it is, but then Covid adds a lot more onto that. Our priority is that people have an enjoyable day but also a safe day."

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