News that Flambards theme park in Helston is to retire a number of its most-loved thrill rides this week has prompted a wave of nostalgia with people sharing their memories – in particular of the iconic Hornet.

The rollercoaster was the first thrill ride experience for whole generations of children in Cornwall and has been a firm favourite at the park for more than 30 years.

Packet readers have been sharing their stories and photos on the Packet Newspapers Facebook page.

They include Gem Buck, who shared a smiling image of her in a carriage of The Hornet, saying: “I have so many happy memories at Flambards.”

(Image: Gem Buck)

It also sparked a memory for Mike Williams, who recalled overseeing the ride being installed – and was subsequently one of the first two people to ride on it.

Michaela Rose Lacey shared how she and her husband met while work at Flambards together and have subsequently enjoyed visiting with their children – posting a picture of the pair outside The Hornet coaster kiosk.

(Image: Michaela Lacey)

She said: “So gutted. Me and my husband met here when we were teenagers. We worked in the ice cream kiosk.

“We have so many memories and love visiting with our children. This is very sad news today.”

Others are keen to see history saved, with Robert Eddy writing: “I hope they keep one of the carriages for prosperity.”

It’s not just The Hornet that will be missed, however. James Cornwell wrote that in addition to missing the rollercoaster, he was also sad to see the loss of The Thunderbolt.

He said: “This [The Hornet] was when I was kid. Can't believe The Thunderbolt is going, as the two best rides.”

(Image: James Cornwell)

The news was revealed in an email sent to season pass holders on Wednesday.

Flambards announced that The Thunderbolt, Sky Swinger, SkyForce and The Hornet rides would all be retired and are set to leave the park in due course.

The theme park said the decision was made after ‘many years of faithful’ service from the rides, adding that it understood the disappointment this news may cause visitors.

It has subsequently offered a partial refund of £20 to pass holders who choose to continue visiting the park, who will also receive complimentary kart track ride access using their voucher. Alternatively a full refund can be obtained.

(Image: Sarah Rutter)

The park has also reduced the entry price for new visitors who are 95cm tall and over to £14.95, while children under 95cm remain free of charge.

Flambards said the ongoing shortage of specialist parts had made the maintenance increasingly challenging for the rides in question, saying: “The safety of our guests is and always will be our top priority.”

Theme Park & Fair Rides Euphoria revealed this week that Evan Moran Jnr had purchased The Thunderbolt from Flambards, saying: “The ride, which was brand new to Scott Manning in 1999 until 2001, is undergoing some major work and should be back out on the travelling scene for the first time in 24 years!”

Flambards will be closed temporarily from Monday (June 10) for the rides to be removed and for park updates, reopening on Monday, July 1 for the summer season