Great Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach has re-opened, thanks to the ongoing dedication of owners the Jones family, with directors Aaron and Jamie representing the fourth-generation to guide the attraction toward success.
Great Yarmouth’s iconic Pleasure Beach has once more thrown open its doors to customers after four months in lockdown – a “really tough” period for directors Aaron and Jamie Jones.
The brothers, whose family have operated the seafront site since 1954, have been responsible for the park’s pandemic response, and for mapping a new way of Covid-safe operation.
“It has been tough, really tough,” Jamie Jones told The Eastern Daily Press. “We have fought tooth and nail for this business and we are confident that the measures we’ve taken will keep people safe and still give them the Pleasure Beach experience.”
“Had we not been told we could open in July, had summer been a write-off… I’m not sure what position we’d be in now. But we are hopeful that we can rescue part of the summer, even if things have to be very different for now.”
The park re-opened on 11 July, with a raft of new measures to protect staff and guests, including limited capacity, hand sanitizer stations, new signage and social distancing regulations.
Visitors are also asked to book one of two daily three-hour time slots for their visit, with the Jones family hoping to increase the frequency of these periods to three per day before the end of the summer.
“This place is at the heart of our family and working with my brother and my Dad just feels like the right thing to do: especially now,” said Aaron Jones. “My family have put blood, sweat and tears into this business to make it the special place it is today.”
“It’s a privilege to work for the business and I often wonder what my Grandad would say.”
Jimmy Jones, who took over as MD in 1975 following the death of Albert Botton, was responsible for guiding the park through the latter part of the last century, which proved a testing time for many theme parks across the UK.
In 1992, Jones’ son Albert was appointed MD, with Jimmy taking the role of chairman, before the running of the park eventually made its way to brothers Aaron and Jamie – and perhaps the next generation too. With Jamie’s wife Amber expecting a child in December, Jamie told the EADP “that’s the next generation ready to take over!”