Wakefield funfair apologises for confusion after closing during Prince Philip's funeral
A funfair operator has apologised to Wakefield families who were turned away from the city's funfair after it closed for Prince Philip's funeral.
Tuckers Funfairs is currently operating in the car park of the Wakefield Trinity Stadium on Doncaster Road.
Staff made the decision to close for several hours on Saturday afternoon to mark the funeral of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Despite advertising the temporary closure on social media, large queues built up outside the funfair, and when the park reopened at 4pm, staff were forced to turn some customers away.
The funfair's organiser has now apologised for any confusion caused by the decision to close, but maintains that closing as a "mark of respect" was the right thing to do.
Organiser George Rowland Tucker said: “This was just an unfortunate circumstance which we had tried to let people know about, but we were caught in a really awkward situation.
"We did not feel it would be appropriate to be open while the funeral was taking place with rides going and people having fun, so we took the decision to close for two hours as a mark of respect and open later.
"People though did turn up and we did manage the queue but unfortunately we also had to turn people away as we have agreements in place that we need to adhere to, but also for the safety of my staff and all our guests we need to ensure there is space for people to enjoy themselves safely."
Tuckers Funfair was one of the first events in the city to be cancelled last year, as the coronavirus pandemic began, and has remained closed for all but three weeks of the last year.
Now that the fair has reopened, they have introduced new safety measures, including frequent cleaning and face mask requirements for visitors.
George said: “To be packed up for so long with no income has been difficult but the safety and wellbeing of the public has to come first.
"We are so grateful to Wakefield Council for assisting with our paperwork and working with funfairs in general to help them open which from 12th April became law that we could return.
"We are so excited to be back and ready to welcome everyone to our attractions and as a show of appreciation we have reduced the prices.
"We do hope people return through the week when it is quieter and there are sessions two-hour sessions with all rides included in the £5 admission at 4.30pm and 7.00pm, plus four sessions next weekend at 11.30am, 2.00pm, 4.30pm and 7.00pm.
"We totally appreciate that people have been locked up so long and are desperate to come out and the closure did mean we had probably twice as many people wanting to enter as we have been accustomed to.
"We would like to thank everyone for understanding and also to the police who came down to ensure that all our measures were in place and were totally happy we were complying with the law and doing the correct things.
"We have been coming to Wakefield for a number of years now and look forward to entertaining the public for many to come.
"We will keep our Facebook page Tuckers Funfairs updated over the week and look forward to welcoming the families of Wakefield to our fun park.”