Looking Back at the Spanish City wheel
In the spring of 1913, Robert Ernest Gray, of Monkseaton, came together with TG Sullivan and C Stout as directors of the Rainbow Wheel Pleasure Company.
They had a site at the Spanish City for a wheel 90ft high. Two trains, enclosed all the way round, dashed past each other at up to 40mph, accompanied by mechanical noises and visions of Hades. Although the track was circular, raised bumps would throw the occupants about. It was expected that 54 passengers per session would pay 3d each.
Newspapers didn’t report on reactions to the event, but it must have been spoiled by a tremendous thunderstorm, so bad that a boy from Whitley Bay was struck by lightning. Those who rode the wheel declared it to be “thrilling” and “champion”.
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