Norwich student’s rollercoaster start towards thrill ride design dream

Adam Fowler and the famous rollercoaster in Great Yarmouth.

Norwich student Adam Fowler who dreams of designing thrill rides got to work on the famous rollercoaster in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Jaydn Johnson/Archant

A Norwich teen who dreams of designing thrill rides has been given the chance to work behind the scenes on one of the UK’s oldest rollercoasters. 

Adam Fowler, 17, admits he is obsessed with rollercoasters and wants to become a CAD designer - creating theme-parks and attractions the world over.

The engineering student at University Technical College Norfolk (UTCN), off Hall Road, has moved a step towards fulfilling his ambition with a summer job and placement at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

Adam Fowler behind the scenes at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

Adam Fowler, who aims to become a thrill ride designer, behind the scenes at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. - Credit: Jaydn Johnson

Among the rides he got to work on was the park’s famous traditional wooden roller coaster that opened in 1932.

Adam, who lives in Norwich, said: “I really enjoyed the experience and learned an awful lot about the rollercoaster, other rides and how operations are carried out. 

Great Yarmouth in the middle of the summer holidays.Pleasure Beach roller coaster.August 2015.

Great Yarmouth in the middle of the summer holidays. Pleasure Beach rollercoaster. Picture: James Bass


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“They took me around the inside of the rollercoaster and showed me how the systems have been changed and redone over the years.

“My foot is now in the door in the industry so I hope this will help.”

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He has been working on a project to design and manufacture his own 3D-printed coaster to scale as part of his UTCN course and wanted to get some real-world experience of being part of a theme park team.

Directors, brothers Jamie, left, and Aaron Jones, at the roller coaster ready to welcome the public

Directors, brothers Jamie, left, and Aaron Jones, at the roller coaster ready to welcome the public back to the Pleasure Beach at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Pleasure Beach director Aaron Jones helped arrange an opportunity for him to spend time with their engineering team and is now exploring future training and apprenticeship opportunities for him too. 

“We will do all we can to help him achieve his ambitions. It helps him grow his skills base and ensures our industry has a pipeline of talent, knowledge, and imaginative employees to keep it thriving,” he said. 

Yarmouth Pleasure beach open for the new season.

Yarmouth Pleasure beach open for the new season. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Fellow Pleasure Beach director, Jamie Jones, added: “Adam’s appreciation and knowledge of rollercoasters is growing. The team here enjoyed sharing their knowledge with him and giving him an insight into how the ride operates. 

“I would not be surprised if we have a ride designed by him here in future years.”

Happy faces as people enjoy the Disko ride as the Pleasure Beach opens to welcome back the public. P

Happy faces as people enjoy the Disko ride as the Pleasure Beach opens to welcome back the public. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Sophie Skipp, employer engagement coordinator at UTCN, said: “For him to have this opportunity to learn from experts while also gaining a valuable insight into the theme-park industry and the world of work has been fantastic.”

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