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Ex-paratrooper launches Wild West town for paintballers
6:00pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A FORMER sergeant-major in the Paratroop Regiment has fulfilled a boyhood dream by building a Wild West town to stage high-octane paintball shoot-outs.
John Wayne fan Will Scullion said he hoped the town of Purgatory, set in Black Plantation, on Aske Moor, near Richmond, alongside the Krypton Factor assault course, would attract up to 16,000 paintballing fans a year from across the country.
The town, based on western classic movies such as Hang ‘Em High and High Plains Drifter, is spread over an area the size of two-football pitches and can hold games for up to 50 paintballers at a time.
It features a church, complete with pews and a pulpit, a barbers, a cemetery, a general store, a two-storey hotel and saloon with beer pumps, a bank with a safe, a teepee, a post office and a central scaffold with hangman’s noose.
Adrenaline UK managing director Mr Scullion the town had taken a year and cost £100,000 to create, with his team also digging a stream, building three bridges and using 150 tonnes of hardcore and 100 tonnes of mulch to transform the former swamp.
He said: “It has been a Herculean effort as we have had to carry everything through the woods to the site.”
Mr Scullion, the self-styled Sheriff of Purgatory, Mad Billy Bob, who took part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Sierra Leone hostage raid in 2000, said he hoped to replicate training for missions rather than the experience of war.
He said: “War is a horrible experience, hence the name Purgatory, but training for war is fun and so this experience is based on the principles of training.”
“We want to take paintballing to a new level, I don’t believe there is anything like this in the country.”
Attending Purgatory’s launch event , Steve Bull, of the UK Paintball Sports Federation, said he was delighted to see the town after a tough 18 months for the industry.
As representatives from the public and private sector took on a challenge where they had to rob poison from the general store, he said: “You could imagine Clint Eastwood out there.”
After one shoot-out, Ripon-based event organiser Dowie Winkle said: “The town really has captured the spirit of the Western films.”
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