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Apology over giant water slide shambles in Sheffield, as organiser says 'I just wanted to bring something good to city where I live'

Some families queued for over three hours without getting to use the giant water slide in Graves Park
Some families queued for over three hours without getting to use the giant water slide in Graves Park
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The organiser of a giant water slide festival in Sheffield has apologised over the chaotic scenes which led to disappointed customers branding the event a 'farce'.

Sheffield Slip and Slide Fest at Graves Park on Sunday was billed as boasting the UK's longest water slide - at a whopping 1,000ft - along with a host of other water-based attractions.

But it was dogged by problems with low water pressure, resulting in lengthy queues, and it was eventually abandoned after some families had reportedly waited for more than three hours without getting to use the slide.

READ MORE: Giant water slide festival branded a 'farce' due to water shortage
Leon Lhomme, whose Sun Slider company organised the event, has now apologised to the 600-plus ticket-holders who attended and assured them they will receive a refund.

"I understand we fell short. The organisation should have been better and all I can do is apologise sincerely to all those who attended," he said.

"We didn't account for the time it took to set up or for the queuing situation and the water problems.

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"I'm Sheffield born and bred and I just wanted to bring something good to the city where I live."

Customers have been invited to apply for a refund via The Sun Slider website, and Mr Lhomme insisted everyone affected would be reimbursed.

He said the original plan was to use water tanks but they ended up using a standpipe and failed to account for the loss of water pressure between the pipe and the slide.

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Mr Lhomme, who previously worked in insurance and said this was the first event he had organised, insisted the slide itself was safe but said some people who misused it had sustained what he described as minor injuries.

The Sun Slider has a similar event planned in London's Finsbury Park on August 5, which the website states is sold out, but Mr Lhomme said it had not yet been decided whether this would go ahead after Sunday's shambles.

If this and any other future events do go ahead, he said he would ensure all equipment is set up and tested the day before, better systems are in place to control queues, and barriers are installed to prevent queue jumpers leaping onto the slide halfway down.

Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice was meant to receive a portion of the proceeds, and Mr Lhomme said he would ensure a donation is still made to the charity even if it has to come out of his own pocket.

He also responded to criticism over the decision to take down the event's Facebook page, which contained numerous damning reviews, explaining that this was only done after some people began posting personal abuse and publishing his home address.

* Customers who have yet to do so can apply for a refund at www.thesunslider.co.uk.