Couple relive Ripley inflatable drama

The scene at Ripley when the V&L Bouncy Castles inflatable blew over the car boot sale crowds. Picture: Jonathan Pow (s).
The scene at Ripley when the V&L Bouncy Castles inflatable blew over the car boot sale crowds. Picture: Jonathan Pow (s).

A retired couple revealed how their Harrogate holiday turned to horror as they were struck by the runaway inflatable slide in Ripley last month.

Six people, including two young children, were injured when the V&L Bouncy Castles inflatable broke free of its tether and blew 100ft across Ripley Cricket Ground at an April 28 car boot sale.

Caravanners Peter and Ann Naulls from Gainsborough are seeking legal action against V&L owner Vick Lusher, after Ann, 70, was thrown to the ground by the slide.

Ann was bruised and remains in shock after being struck down, but her furious husband Peter, 72, has been in touch with authorities, and is demanding action to ensure the incident is not repeated.

Peter explained how the drama unfolded: “All of a sudden I could hear a woman shouting ‘Oh My God’.

“I turned around , and this inflatable was heading towards us. I turned my back on it, crouched down, and covered my head.

“It hit me on my back.

“When I was on the deck there were pots smashing. I just thought to myself, what is going to happen now?”

Peter and Ann were ten yards apart, looking at different stalls, when the inflatable escaped.

Peter continued: “I got up, and saw Ann lying on her back.

“The inflatable had flattened her, and something had hit her leg, which was black and blue.

“She managed to push it off her to get some air , and at that stage it took off again, and got as far as the cricket square.

“She was checked out by a doctor, and she is OK, but she wants nothing to do with caravans or bouncy castles.”

The couple were happy to learn everyone at the site escaped with their lives.

Peter said: “The alarming thing was that the metal stakes that had been holding the inflatable were strewn all over the place, they must have whizzed past us.

“A man was running around frantically picking them up afterwards. If any of those stakes had hit someone, we would be facing an inquest.

“This must not happen again.”

Harrogate Borough Council, probing the incident, confirmed the slide has been inspected, and officers are seeking witness statements.

Witnesses can contact Environmental Health Officer Tony Moule on 01423556832 or email

Last month, Mr Lusher told the Harrogate Advertiser: “The company did everything that could be done to ensure that everybody was safe at the time.”

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