MINI MAYOR: Ilford boy becomes London’s first ‘children’s mayor’

Ilford – VIJAY SHAH via ELLENA CRUSE and Ilford Recorder

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan beware, there’s a new kid on the block, and yes, he is actually a child. In a first for the city, London has witnessed the swearing into office (unofficially) of its first ‘children’s mayor’ – as part of a promotional campaign by a new kid-friendly theme park. Kishan Shah (no relation to the reporter), aged nine, and hailing from the upmarket Ilford suburb of Chigwell, has been elected mayor for youngsters with the help of children’s activity centre KidZania, his local newspaper the Ilford Recorder reported this past Thursday.

 

Shah beat off thousands of other entries and amazed judges at KidZania with his manifesto of improvements he would make to his city if he won. Among his manifesto pledges, Kishan suggested that people waiting in queues should be offered free fruit while they wait, the introduction of new clear signage for public water fountains, and helping children to interact with their new mayor via a suggestion box.

Kishan’s election was the result of a nationwide search by KidZania, an indoor theme park for children in west London, for a ‘KidZania London city mayor’ as part of their launch of a new annual pass that gives children unlimited access to their activity centre for twelve months. To celebrate Shah’s new ambassadorial role, KidZania will be giving his entire class a trip to their centre, a gold birthday party package for the new mayor himself, and even his own set of mayoral robes and keys to the KidZania City. Shah will also be the first recipient of the new KidZania yearly pass.

Kishan’s new job will be largely promoting KidZania activities, including the official opening of new attractions by the activity centre. The youngster was said to be thrilled at being chosen to be mayor, telling the Recorder: “I would make an excellent mayor as I am calm, friendly and approachable.

“I am also prepared to put in the hard work that being mayor would involve.”

Kishan’s mother Brijal added that the family were proud of their son winning the competition. She said: “He is an incredible boy with so much to give and I know he’ll do a brilliant job for KidZania”

The chief executive officer of KidZania London, Eddie Kemsley, also commented on the new mayor: “We received so many wonderful applications for the mayor position and we thank everyone for their efforts.

“However, there can only be one mayor and we are so happy for Kishan to come on board the KidZania London team.

“His personality really shone through in his application and we loved his ideas about introducing a mayor’s comment box in the city.

“We know he’ll be an enthusiastic voice for the people and we can’t wait for him to get started.”

SOURCES:

Ilford Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/IlfordRecorder/

“Chigwell boy with manifesto becomes newest children’s mayor in London” – Ellena Cruse, Ilford Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd (30 May 2018) http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/chigwell-boy-with-manifesto-becomes-newest-children-s-mayor-in-london-1-5541137

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:KidZania pilots thumbs up while playing in a cockpit simulator.jpg” – KidZania Mumbai, Wikimedia Commons (9 October 2017) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KidZania_pilots_thumbs_up_while_playing_in_a_cockpit_simulator.jpg

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PARAMOUNT RESORT: New theme park to launch 2020 in south-east England

Sunny Atwal (contributor)

Vijay Shah (reporter)

London Town is about to get that bit more exciting as a new entertainment park and tourist attraction gets ready to attract film buffs and day trippers to an area brimming with both film history and cultures that draw in film makers from all over the world.

While not exactly in London itself, but on the Swanscombe peninsula in north Kent, about forty or less minutes from the centre of London by train and less by road, the London Paramount is a ‘world-class’ entertainment resort that will be opened by famous Hollywood studios Paramount Pictures very likely in another five years’ time, and will be an ambitious project and a first for the Hollywood studio in the UK.

The resort is being bankrolled by investment firm London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), who are in the final stages of consultations with the public on the project. LRCH have created a website outlining their plans for the theme park project, along with downloadable materials on the new park and how it will benefit tourism and local communities.

Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, CA
Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

London Paramount will feature an exciting variety of themed rides and attractions for everyone, especially youngsters, families and groups, as well as crazier rides for the adventurous thrill seekers looking for that next adrenaline fix. In the centre of the resort will be the Entertainment City, which will play host to a selection of indoor, covered and open-air experiences as well as a variety of cafes, bars and restaurants. From time to time, the  City will also be a venue for live shows and music concerts that will set south-east England ablaze. There will also be a special ‘Paramount and Friends’ carnival taking place every day that will see Paramount characters such as Betty Boop, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and the stars of Madagascar parade and meet-and-greet fans alongside many spectacular shows featuring some of the Paramount studio‘s most iconic characters.

For the more sedate and relaxed, London Paramount will also host West End-quality theatrical and general productions as well as showing of films and other programmes from Paramount, the BBC and Aardman studios, home of the much-loved plasticine comic duo, Wallace and Gromit. There will also be live comedy acts invited to perform at Paramount’s first ever resort on these shores.

The resort plans to opens its doors in 2020, with new rides and attractions appearing shortly afterwards. Highlights include the Port Plaza, paying homage to Kent’s maritime heritage; the Myths and Legends castle, based on the castle that appears on the film studios logo, designed after its founding in 1911 and the oldest Hollywood logo in existence; the Paramount Port Bay, featuring canals and pleasure barges, and the excitingly jaw-dropping Adventure Isle. Other attractions include a 1,500 seat West End theatre, Europe’s largest indoor water park and specially-created wildlife habitats to promote conservation of the animals and plants that call the river Thames’ banks home.

It is expected to attract up to 40,000 visitors per day with a range of hotels and restaurants being planned close by to cater for them.

The London Paramount project is projected to bring a massive financial boost to the Ebbsfleet and greater north Kent region, with the park and associated creative hubs and shopping centres bringing in 27,000 jobs and revitalising the area and local communities as well as having knock-on effects commercially and creatively for the rest of Kent and London.

For more information visit:

http://www.londonparamount.info/

SOURCES:
“WELCOME TO LONDON PARAMOUNT” – Paramount London Entertainment Resort, PPS Group http://www.londonparamount.info/
“RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS” – Paramount London Entertainment Resort, PPS Group http://www.londonparamount.info/the-project/rides-and-attractions/
“Paramount Pictures” – Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramount_Pictures
“BENEFITS” – Paramount London Entertainment Resort, PPS Group http://www.londonparamount.info/benefits/
“THE PROJECT” – Paramount London Entertainment Resort, PPS Group http://www.londonparamount.info/the-project/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:ParamountPictures01.jpg” – Gary Minnaert, Wikimedia Commons (21 January 2007) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ParamountPictures01.jpg

ALTON TOWERS ‘AIR’: Eighty people trapped as popular rollercoaster breaks down

More than a month after British theme park Alton Towers became a disaster zone when its Smiler ride malfunctioned, seriously injuring four people, another rollercoaster broke down yesterday, which was the hottest day of the year so far. The broken down car was alleged to have helped trap more than eighty people on and around the ride for two hours, the Metro newspaper reports.

On the same day the United Kingdom experienced the hottest daytime temperatures since 2003, the theme park’s Air rollercoaster seized up, causing dozens of thrillseekers to be suspended upside-down mid-air for twenty minutes. Another eighty visitors hoping to follow them onto Air were stuck in sweltering carriages for more than an hour after two monorail trains stopped.

Air , montagnes russes à Alton Towers
Air , montagnes russes à Alton Towers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the beginning of last month, sixteen people on a rollercoaster car on the recently opened Smiler were injured when it collided with an empty car parked further down the ride after the safety braking mechanisms failed. Two of the injured visitors had legs amputated due to their horrific injuries.

A spokesman said delays were ‘within expected levels’ and the monorail would re-open on Thursday.

It took an hour for Alton Towers staff to remove 80 people off the monorail using the evacuation walkways installed for such emergencies.

A spokesman told the BBC television broadcaster: “The train drivers kept guests informed via the on board PA system and refreshments were provided.”

Guests trapped on the Air ride were rescued “within standard operating procedures”, according to the theme park’s management. Nobody was injured in the rollercoaster malfunction, and there are no reports of damage to the ride. After the Smiler incident, Alton Towers agreed to pay compensation to the affected and also to review their safety and maintenance policies. 

Air is a fast-paced ride that promises visitor they will “experience the feeling of flying” as they sail into the clouds and through the resort’s trees. It is located in the Forbidden Valley section of the park and stands at a height of 20 metres. Its cars can reach speeds of 75 kilometres per hour along the 850 metre long track and was built at a cost of GBP £12 million. Air can accommodate 1,500 riders per hour.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf
“Alton Towers’ Air rollercoaster broke down for two hours trapping 80 people upside down” – Carri-Ann Taylor, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (2 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/02/alton-towers-air-breaks-down-leaving-guests-stranded-upside-down-5275895/?ito=facebook
“Air” – Alton Towers Resort, Alton Towers Resort Operations Limited/Merlin Entertainment Group http://www.altontowers.com/things-to-do/theme-park/air/
IMAGE CREDITS:
“File:Air (Alton Towers) 01.jpg” – Andyfishburne, Wikimedia Commons (15 October 2007) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Air_(Alton_Towers)_01.jpg