Saturday, December 8, 2007

big wheel

Council's Winterland Ferris wheel spies on flats - again
Dec 7 2007 by Robin Turner, Western Mail

Council's Winterland Ferris wheel spies on flats - again

IT MAY be the spectacular centrepiece of Swansea's Christmas "Waterfront Wonderland".

But for the residents of expensive flats living as close as 30ft from the towering Ferris wheel it has meant revellers in glass "pods" peeping into their bedrooms and even their toilets.

The residents of Gloucester Place in Swansea's plush Maritime Quarter say users of the 140ft-high ride can see right into their homes as they travel round and round on the massive, festive wheel.

Fed up Gloucester Place resident Colin Buckley yesterday denied he and his neighbours are being "Victor Meldrews" by complaining about the wheel to Swansea Council, which positioned it opposite their homes for the run up to Christmas.

But he admits he and other residents couldn't believe it when � after complaining about the wheel's positioning last year � it was put in exactly the same place this year.

Mr Buckley handed a petition of complaint to Swansea Council at its monthly meeting in the shadow of the big wheel at County Hall yesterday.

He said of the council, "They have not taken our views into account. All we are asking for is for the Ferris wheel to be sited on a different part of the show ground so that it would not intrude into our privacy."

Council officials said yesterday it would be far too expensive to move the Ferris wheel now, but its location would be reviewed next year.

Mr Buckley said Gloucester Place residents were promised that after last year's event they would be consulted over the location of the wheel. But he says their views were ignored.

One Maritme Quarter resident said yesterday, "The big wheel is a big hit with families and is now firmly part of the Christmas scene in Swansea. But when you go to the toilet in a flat which is quite high up you don't expect to see people sailing past in a glass pod looking in at you."

In its first year last Christmas, the Waterfront Winterland attracted more than 100,000 visitors.

This year, as well as the wheel, the attraction features Santa's Grotto, food outlets, a "K2 climbing wall" on which users are showered by a snow machine, and a skating rink.

The Ferris wheel dominates the Waterfront Winterland and as it is brightly lit at night it has now become a temporary landmark on the Swansea Bay skyline.

A council report on the Winterland says, "It is unlikely the Waterfront Winterland would be financially viable without the Ferris wheel. But it is recommended in view of the comments received from residents, a review of the site layout should be undertaken in relation to the Christmas 2008 project."

In a statement yesterday, the council said it had received a petition of 15 signatures requesting a change of location for the Ferris wheel.

A council spokesman said, "Officers have met residents on site and taken their comments on board and have recommended to council that a review of the positioning of the wheel in 2008 is carried out."

Geoff Haden, spokesman for Tourism Swansea, said the Waterfront Winterland and the Ferris wheel had become a fantastic attraction for Swansea over the past two Christmas periods.

But he said, "The pods on the wheel do come close to people's windows. Having said that, people I have spoken to who have been on it are either too scared to look out or are busy concentrating on the wonderful views over Mumbles Head and Swansea Bay rather than looking in people's windows.

"Also, I have been told the glass pods spin around as people go around the wheel so they are hardly going to have a chance to nose into people's windows."

Local councillor David Phillips has sympathy with the residents.

He said yesterday, "It's not that they don't want it, they just don't want it right outside their bedroom windows. This is something which could so easily have been avoided at the planning stage. But for some reason the Ferris wheel was put in exactly the same place as it was last year when we also had complaints.

"What I would say to the council is 'why was this not done?'."

Charlotte suffered voyeurs by the busload

Charlotte Church found her own bedroom window was being looked into, in 2003, when she bought a luxury apartment in Cardiff Bay.

She found that despite splashing out £450,000 on the upmarket flat she became the latest attraction for tourists travelling around her native Cardiff on an open top bus.

Coachloads of sightseers were able to spot the Voice of an Angel star at her penthouse apartment.

And to make matters worse, it passed by every 20 minutes.

Guides started to point out the plush residence as being the home of "one of Cardiff's most famous celebrities". It was reported that one busload even ogled the then 17-year-old Charlotte sharing a passionate kiss on the balcony with a boyfriend.

One friend said at the time, "It's a dream home, but she never bargained on the tourists."

In Swansea, Catherine Zeta- Jones's family home at Limeslade, Mumbles has also come under the gaze of visitors.

Tourist buses regularly stop outside the house, Silverhurst, to take photographs but as part of a gated community the house is protected by high stone walls.

MUMBAI: Anil Ambani's The Reliance ADA Group proposes to bring to New Delhi what it says will be an iconic mega structure.

Its aim is to see that this structure will bring recognition to New Delhi and India, the way Eiffel Tower has done to Paris, the Petronas Towers to Kuala Lumpur, and the London Eye to London (UK). In fact, the London Eye has not only been able to reinvent and reposition the city of London as a modern 'happening' city but also reinvigorated the economy of the city.

On the lines of the London Eye, Reliance ADA Group plans to build in New Delhi, the Big Wheel - one of the largest observation wheels in the world.

It will have the potential to attract over eight million tourists per annum the company says. The pricing for the ride will be such that it would suit all sections of the society. The project entails an investment of $ 80- 150 million.

The proposed Big Wheel will have a diameter of 150 to 180 meters (bigger than the London Eye) in Delhi's central location, with more than 30 air-conditioned viewing cabins accommodating over 1200 people per revolution, will be a cutting-edge engineering marvel. It will be totally 'green' project with no environmental pollution.

Reliance ADA Group's aim for the Big Wheel with the support of Delhi Government in the form of providing land at a central location, is to build and operationalise the project to coincide with the inauguration of the Commonwealth Games 2010.

Reliance ADA Group will be setting up similar wheels in other Indian cities as well.

Reliance says that the Big Wheel will be a symbol for:
-The re-emergence of India
- The Common Wealth Games inauguration
- A national Icon of unity
- The dynamism of the city, government and the country

For the City of Delhi, it will additionally ;
- Generate incremental flow of national & international tourists into the city
- Provide new direct and indirect job opportunities
- Bring investments of upto US$ 80 - 150 million
- Generate additional tax revenues
- Be a catalyst for improvement of the local infrastructure and transport links
- Be a centre-point for national and international gatherings through a state-of-the-art entertainment/convention centre

Reliance has entered into a Joint Venture with the Great Wheel Corporation (GWC), an international company and owners of the Intellectual Property Rights for such viewing platforms, combining its global experience and know-how of developing, building, financing and operating iconic landmarks like the Singapore Flyer, which is proposed to be inaugurated in April 2008. GWC is also setting up observation wheels in Beijing, Dubai, Berlin and Orlando in the US.

Big Wheel
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the tricycle. For other uses, see Big Wheel (disambiguation).
A Big Wheel is a type of tricycle, traditionally made of plastic, with an oversized front wheel, that rides very low to the ground. Introduced by Louis Marx and Company in 1969, the Big Wheel was a very popular toy in the 1970s in the United States, partly because of its low cost and partly because consumer groups said it was a safer alternative to the traditional tricycle or bicycle.

The design was quickly imitated, under a variety of brand names. Although Big Wheel was a registered trademark, it was frequently used as a generic name for any toy whose design resembled that of Marx. Marx sold the Big Wheel brand name and molds in the early 1970s to Empire Plastics, makers of the Power Cycle brand, which was Marx's biggest competitor.

By the late 1990s, few manufacturers were making these toys, and Empire filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The Big Wheel brand was reintroduced under new ownership in 2003.

[edit] Popular culture
On South Park, Eric Cartman is often featured riding a Big Wheel, particularly in the episodes "Chickenlover", "The Jeffersons" and "Cartoon Wars".
VH1's mini-series "I Love Toys" ranks the Big Wheel as the 40th most popular toy.
A yearly Big Wheel race takes place on Easter Sunday down Lombard Street in San Francisco. [1]
In the Stanley Kubrick Film The Shining, Danny, the son of Jack Torrance rides through the long halls of the haunted hotel on a Big Wheel.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home