STRONG winds took their toll at Clacton Pier as outdoor rides were closed at the weekend.

The new porch and entrance booth for the circus on the Jolly Roger arena was also blown away from its fixings and was lodged precariously against the pier’s railings.

Staff made sure that it was properly and it will be returned to its normal position in due course.

A decision was taken to close the rides on Saturday to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

The rides were also closed on Sunday, March 10, due to the wind.

Nigel Brown, the pier's communications manager, said no chances are taken when the winds blow up in the way they have recently.

“Each ride has been properly assessed and when it gusts to a certain level they are closed on health and safety grounds,” he said.

“There have been various incidents around the country in recent years and we all have to be very mindful and make sure that those coming to enjoy our attractions do so in the knowledge they are going to be safe.

“Equally we do not want to put our own staff at risk in those types of conditions.”

Mr Brown added that fortunately the Helter Skelter – which has just returned from its winter holidays in Edinburgh – has been unaffected this time.

“In 2013 it was blown to pieces, quite literally, by high winds and we were keeping our fingers crossed this time,” he said. “It was repaired and made stronger six years ago and that has paid off.”

He added that the new indoor attractions at the pier, such as Dockside Dodgems, the Discovery Bay soft Play and Skull Point adventure golf have been very busy in the bad weather, along with the amusement arcade and bowling lanes.