The Lakeside area is without doubt one of the iconic attractions at Wicksteed Park and it has provided hours of leisure fun for visitors since 1921. Charles Wicksteed, the founder of the Park, had a love for water which led him to build the 30 acre lake. He then designed and built one of the first water based rides in the world: the 'Waterchute', which opened in 1926.
There are only 3 Waterchutes left in operation to this day, with the others being in East Park in Kingston - Upon - Hull and Peasholme Park in Scarborough, although the Wicksteed Park version is the only one that operates on a regular basis.
The Waterchute is designed to give the occupants an opportunity to plunge into water at speed. The boat is boarded by means of a tower which is reached via a staircase. Once aboard, the "sailors" are restrained before the descent starts. When all the passengers are seated, the boat descends on the railed ramp and crashes into the water.
Fins on the bow of the boat create a spectacular wave which adds to the attraction. Once the boat has floated to the end of its permitted travel, it is hauled back up the ramp by a rope, which is permanently attached to the rear.
An electric motor, which runs continually, winds in the rope that the boat is secured to. This rope also acts as an important safety feature as it is designed to break if the strains on the ride become too great.
The Waterchute underwent refurbishment in 2002 and celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2006.