As the Big Dipper and Sooty both celebrate special birthdays, the beloved children’s puppet made the journey back to his home town Blackpool to ride the famous Big Dipper rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Sooty turns 75 this year, and alongside him the iconic wooden coaster, Big Dipper, turns 100. The duo are joining forces to celebrate a successful career history which is rich with pleasure and nostalgia.
CEO of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Amanda Thompson OBE, said: “We’re thrilled to bring together two entertainment pioneers as they celebrate their acclaimed legacy. Although different in appearance and nature, the impact Sooty and Big Dipper have had on the industry is very much the same; both have left an influential stamp on the way the world consumes and distributes entertainment.
“They individually shaped an era of laughs and memories, filled childhoods with joy and left an everlasting impression in everyone’s minds. Generations before us fell in love with the thrilling coaster and hilarious puppet, and generations after us will continue to find the same joy for many more years to come. This collaboration truly is one for the record books.”
Sooty and his companion Sweep spent the morning riding the Big Dipper. The duo endured all the dips and lifts as the 100 year old rollercoaster took them on a two minute magical journey of thrills.
Opened in 1923 at a cost of £25,000, the Big Dipper holds the title as one of Britain’s oldest continuously in use rollercoasters and is one of the oldest rides in the world. Its iconic status has seen millions of people step aboard the famous trains which takes guests on a three minute, white-knuckle ride to the top of its summit, on an adrenalin-filled journey filled with the big drops and exhilarating turns before returning to the station.
Sooty the puppet was first bought by the late Harry Corbett in 1948 in Blackpool when he was on holiday with his family at the seaside town. Originally purchased in a joke shop to entertain his children, Sooty later went on to become one of the most iconic children’s entertainer on television for over seven decades. As the years went on and his popularity grew, Sooty was joined by an ensemble of friends on screen. Sooty was eventually passed from Harry Corbett to his son, Matthew, who after taking the reins for some years, passed it on to lifelong fan, illusionist and puppeteer, Richard Cadell – who sits alongside the Sooty we know and love today.
Follow the link to watch Sooty and Sweep ride Big Dipper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2o5sI0SBos