Bristol water slide: Hundreds of people speed through city centre on lilos

The Park and Slide project is the creation of artist Luke Jerram

Antonia Molloy
Monday 05 May 2014 11:17
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Thrill-seekers speed down the street on Sunday
Thrill-seekers speed down the street on Sunday

Daredevils in Bristol were enjoying a watery treat on Sunday as the city installed a 90m (300ft) water slide on Park Street.

The brainchild of artist Luke Jerram, the Park and Slide project was authorised by the council and is part of Making Sundays Special and the Bristol Art Weekender.

96,573 people entered a ballot in the hopes of securing a “ticket to slide” on the creation, which is fashioned from hay-bales, water and washing-up liquid.

Starting at 11am, some 360 thrill-seekers sped down the street on lilos to the cheers of onlookers.

Mr Jerram came up with the idea for the project, which he describes as a “playful response to the urban landscape” during last year’s summer heatwave.

But he did not expect such a positive response when he announced his idea in March.

He said: “The amount of interest and demand has been a wonderful surprise. It’s obviously an idea that has captured the imagination of a lot of people – we’d have to keep the slide open every day for about eight months to let everyone who has applied have a go. The queue would extend for 30 miles!”

The artist turned down funding from large corporate sponsors, instead gathering local support for his work.

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said: “Park and Slide is brilliantly Bristol. I’m delighted that Luke has chosen to align it with the start of this year’s Make Sunday’s Special, when city centre streets will be taken over by the people of Bristol, enabling locals and visitors to see our very special city in a new light.”

Speaking ahead of the start of the event, Mr Jerram told the BBC: “I wanted to close a road - if you look at photographs in the 1900s you see these beautiful empty streets with all the kids playing out - it's an extraordinary thing and all that has been taken away.

“I'm happy to take over a street, and this slide is an architectural intervention really.”

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