Councillors were riding high for charity as they braved a spectacular new attraction at Barnstaple Fair.

Barnstaple councillors and their visiting ‘twins’ from Susa in Italy were given a special thrill at the opening of the town’s annual fair yesterday (Wednesday).

Councillors and guests were sponsored to take a seat on a spectacular new ride which is the star of the show at the fairground this week.

Those who dared – former Mayor Cllr Arthur Windsor, Cllrs Jane Wilsher and Sally Bush and local businesswoman Mrs Jacquie Gover – were whisked 100 feet in the air and spun around 360degrees.

Their bravery was rewarded with cash for the North Devon Chemotherapy Appeal.

Mr Windsor substituted for Mayor Ian Roome, who was hosting the Italian guests. He declared himself a veteran of many fairground rides and said this was a ‘mega’ ride and the experience was ‘awesome.’

Mrs Gover said she was afraid of heights. “It was scary, but it was for the chemotherapy appeal. I shut my eyes.”

Named Starshape Air, the £1.5milllion ride is one of only three of its kind in the world and the only one travelling the fairgrounds of Great Britain. One other is sited in Blackpool and the other is travelling in Germany.

It arrived in Barnstaple last Saturday morning in a convoy of six huge trucks and trailers and a mobile crane was used to build it up.

Its high-tech lighting effects will dominate the Barnstaple skyline

The new ride, owned by Mr Abie Danter, only visits the larger fairs in this country and Barnstaple will be the only event it attends in Devon and Cornwall this year.