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Too fat Jules hit by fair ride ban

PUBLISHED: 15:04 21 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

WOMEN beware if you measure up to the national average size 14 _ you could be too fat for a fairground ride in Felixstowe.

According to 23-year-old Jules Elliot the "fat police" threw her off a popular ride because she was too big for the seat.

WOMEN beware if you measure up to the national average size 14 _ you could be too fat for a fairground ride in Felixstowe.

According to 23-year-old Jules Elliot the "fat police" threw her off a popular ride because she was too big for the seat.

The 11-stone Felixstowe woman could not believe it when the ride worker locking the safety bar turned on her and said the ride would not start unless she got off.

Loudly, he told her: "I am sorry, love, you are too fat."

He then made her leave the Miami ride at the Felixstowe Carnival funfair as all the other people on the ride and those queuing watched in amazement.

"I could not believe it. I was just so embarrassed – and it was the way he said it in front of everyone," said Jules, of Beach Station Road, Felixstowe.

"I got my money back and then went back to my friends and just burst into tears. It was such a horrible thing.

"I am 11 stone and a size 14. I don't consider that fat and none of my friends ever tell me I am fat.

"I think it is discrimination, and even if I did have to leave the ride, he could have told me in a more diplomatic and quieter way."

Jules, who works for Social Services, had already been on other rides at the travelling fairground, which was set up on Pier Bight for four days for the carnival weekend. She had not been refused entry to any of them.

On the Miami ride, people sit in seats in a horizontal row, and the seats then swing left and right in a circular motion, eventually going up as high as possible and all the way round in a circle.

"We did notice as we were queuing up that they seemed to be having some problem getting the barrier down. When I got to the front, there was one seat left on the end of the row and I went and sat down," said Jules.

"The safety barrier was put down across our laps and the man looking after the ride went along and started rocking the barrier. He started shaking his head and then when he got to me, he said, 'I am sorry, love, you are too fat', raised the barrier and made me get off.

"It made me feel so small. It ruined the evening.

"I have been on rides at many funfairs and other places, including Chessington World of Adventures, and no-one has ever told me I could not go on or spoken to me like that before.

"I go to the gym regularly and no-one I know considers that I am fat."

Roberta Carter, the lessee who organises the funfair and whose family has brought it to Felixstowe for decades, said there was a sign at the ride's admission kiosk stressing that people who were large might be refused admission.

"I am sorry, but that is because of the health and safety regulations – we have to ensure that everyone on the ride is safe and secure and comfortable, and we cannot take any risks," she said.

"The worker on the ride didn't use the best of terms when he addressed this young woman, but there was nothing malicious in his comments. He simply needed to tell her that she was too large for the ride."

The ride is sometimes known as the Terminator and the one on Clacton Pier had to be closed last week after developing a fault.

WEBLINKS: www.showmen.uk.com

www.fun-fairs.co.uk

www.hse.gov.uk

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