At aged 16, John Woodward borrowed £7000 from his mother and invested it in a caravan park.
For many years, he was Managing Director of Blue Anchor Leisure that operates 16 caravan parks in Lincolnshire. Previously, the company also owned Fantasy Island, in Ingoldmells.
Under Woodward’s direction, the park built two huge roller coasters. The Millennium Coaster and Jubilee Odyssey in 1999 and 2002, respectively. These attractions heralded a new era for the popular seaside park at a time when many others were downsizing or closing.
Always one for a publicity opportunity, he claimed to have even more elaborate plans for the Fantasy Island property, including plans to relocate the famous Twin Towers from the original Wembley stadium to the Lincolnshire attraction.
He died on Sunday 12th September 2010. At the time of his death, Lincolnshire councillor Colin Davie commented that “John was a pioneer and a one-off. The Lincolnshire coast we have today carries his fingerprints and in many parts of it, his vision”.
Known across Lincolnshire as the Caravan King, in the theme park world, he will be known for being instrumental in the building of two unique roller coasters that dominate the skyline at Ingoldmells.