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Star returns to her roots.

A TV star swapped pulling pints for cutting a ribbon when she made a return trip to her home town.

Emmerdale star Charlie Hardwick, better known to fans as Woolpack barmaid Val Pollard, popped back to Wallsend to help mark the 40th anniversary of one of the town's most popular attractions.

Charlie, who has served behind the bar at the Woolpack since 2004, visited the Dunes amusement arcade at Carville Road to help the business celebrate its landmark birthday. The actress said: "I used to go down the fair quite a lot when I was younger and remember riding on the waltzers run by Kenneth senior so it's great to see this venture doing so well.

"The Dunes has a lovely atmosphere and great staff and it's been amazing being able to come home and see everyone again sharing in the Dunes' landmark celebration." Originally established by travelling showman Kenneth Reader in 1969, The Dunes amusement arcade has been a popular fixture in Wallsend town centre since the doors first opened and marked the start of a family-run empire which now encompasses sites in Wallsend, Jarrow, Amble, Hebburn and South Shields.

Now under the management of Kenneth's son, Kenneth junior and daughter-in-law Gillian, the Wallsend site recently built a new family-friendly extension and installed new arcade machines.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 28, 2010
Words:217
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