News that the leaseholder at Brooklands Pleasure Park has cancelled his contract has been met with strong reaction on social media.
Kevin McCluskey, who ran concessions at the East Worthing park, including the miniature railway, for more than 11 years, said he ended his lease after being angry with Worthing Borough Council’s treatment of his partner, Lynne Carr, who ran the café in the park.
The story on the Worthing Herald’s Facebook page was shared dozens of times and attracted scores of comments.
Tina Bagley commented: “My memories of Brooklands are meeting this couple, Kev and Lynne, when they first took over the park, train, café etc. Their enthusiasm was amazing – they have tried their very hardest in everything to do with Brooklands and I have the upmost admiration for them. Thank you for everything you did. I wish you the very best for whatever you do in the future, please don’t ever think you failed anyone, what you did was truly amazing, you tried your hardest and I feel you have been let down. Hold your heads high.”
Amanda Jones said: “They brought so much enthusiasm and joy to many, many families over the years. Their huge support when we were fundraising for the all inclusive playground under our We Play Too project was huge...Thank you for so many cherished memories over the years.”
SarahBangles Jones said she was ‘gutted’ and would have to find somewhere else to take her son. She described the miniature train as ‘perfect’.
Commenting on the Lancing Herald Facebook page, Clare Taylor said: “Lynne gave my son his first job and the premises were great while herself and Kev were there. They lived, ate and breathed that place. They worked so so hard. I feel awful for them.”
as Kevin Smith commented on the Shoreham Herald’s post and said it was ‘such a shame’ and that he used to take his children to the park.
In response to news of the lease cancellation, a council spokesman said: “We can confirm we’ve received notification from the Brooklands Park concessions operator that he wishes to voluntarily surrender his leases at the site, which includes the train.
“While we understand that some people may be disappointed, we want to reassure residents that the council remains committed to transforming this much-loved park into an exciting family-friendly attraction.
“The council has already invested a large six-figure sum in revamping the lake, ensuring it becomes a haven for wildlife as well as a place people want to visit. Contractors hope to complete this major project very soon.
“In the coming weeks we will also be ready to reveal a grand masterplan vision for the rest of the park. These plans have been developed with the widespread involvement from the community, including consultation with the recently-created Friends of Brooklands Park and hundreds of responses from residents.
“We acknowledge there may be some frustration in the short-term but ask that residents remain patient as plans come together.
“We are confident the end result will be worth waiting for and assure all residents there are exciting times ahead for Brooklands Park.”