How a much-loved Eastbourne attraction began

From: Michael PhillipsThe Rising, Eastbourne
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Further to Annemarie Field’s article click here to read, Fort Fun was started in the winter of 1989 by Peter Green, and myself.

Prior to this we had a Go Kart track on the upper level of the site. There was no prom, or Monarch House, or toilets, and the electricity was a small generator.

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We then negotiated with the council to expand the site and Fort Fun was born.

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We began with just the main building for catering and toilets, and a party room, a runaway train coaster, large outdoor slide, five kiddy rides, electric train ride, (which used to get robbed by Big Bad John). We moved the Go Kart track to where the water park is today and put in a adventure play area on the original track.

We quickly realised that we needed a winter attraction, and we then built Rockys, which opened in 1991 and proved a huge success.

When we eventually sold in 2004 we were hosting more than 1,000 one birthday parties a year.

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In the winter of 1993 we built the adventure golf on the adventure playground, and I really mean that we physically built the golf course, the kart tracks, all the groundworks, the interior of Rockys soft play area, with one other staff member (the council insisted in 1989 we build them the car park, at our expense, to obtain the lease).

It’s very sad that this is all going to end.

The only kiosk the council may operate is the ice cream kiosk on the front (maybe).

Although there is a covenant stating that no residential buildings are to be built on the sea side of Royal Parade, the council is a law to itself, just look who built Monarch House in 1990.

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