Two married couples who grew up together in Goosnargh are behind a unique, fun, climbing venture opening up in Preston this weekend, the first of its kind in Lancashire.
Clip ‘n Climb, where adults and children can climb to their hearts’ content in a safe environment, opens at the Millennium City Park on Sunday.
Vicky and Tony Coupe, who now live in Longridge and Bob and Zoe Smith, who live in Goosnargh, are behind the venture, which aims to bring climbing to everyone.
And, says Vicky, the beauty is, you don’t need any previous experience of climbing and don’t need a partner to take on the centre’s 20
individual wall challenges which vary in design and difficulty and test agility and courage in different ways.
“With traditional climbing you are on ropes, but with this it is on automatic belays, meaning quick access to the wall. You clip yourself in and you are away. It is a lot more accessible for people who haven’t been climbing before,” said Vicky. “We also have two very special attractions – the infamous ‘vertical drop slide’ and the ‘stairway to heaven’.”
Vicky, 33, says the venture was her idea, as she is a designer for the company which manufactures the clip ‘n climb equipment in Barnoldswick. Having studied spacial design at university, she worked in planning and architecture before joining the team of designers for the climbing wall company four years ago, to “combine her experiences”.
As Vicky watched the number of ‘clip ‘n climb’ centres grow, working as the company’s northern designer, she set her heart on opening one in Preston, the county’s first, and broached the idea with Tony. Then, one night, talking over drinks with Bob and Zoe, Vicky suggested doing it together, as she believed they had a good set of skills between them. Tony is a builder, Zoe an accountant and Bob a mechanic. Planning started in August and 15 members of staff have also been taken on, as the centre holds up to 30 people, from five years upwards. But there is also a cafe and soft play area for younger children, making it a venue for all the family.
Vicky says call in at 1B Wyder Court (PR2 5DW), ring on 01772 655220, or visit www.clipnclimbpreston.co.uk, Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.