designed in 1946 the ingenious steel playchute stood 60ft high and sloped to the southwest for over 100ft. a collossus amongst playchutes, the chute had the main function of supplying electricity to factories in the area. 8 young children were assigned to be sliding on the chute at all times. the friction of 8 cotton shorts on the steel structure created enough static to supply heavy industry in the area with power.
disaster struck in september 1947 when elderly tailor frankie mccluttock and 16 of the mccluttock grandchildren stormed the electric playchute and recklessly began to slide for enjoyment. fresh from church and dressed to the nines in sunday best – by the time mr mccluttock had slid 33ft the dangerous overloaded charge that built up was enough to fire frankie off the playchute, across the nearby road and into haddens fishmongers-quickly followed by a salvo of each of the 16 grandchildren.
with the chute burnt out and industry ground to a halt, power had to be diverted from the east end see-saw power plant and the west end playswings battery. the family were unharmed but the incident was to signal the end of playchutes as a means of electricity generation.