The rocket has returned to Blackheath

The sun shone on Blackheath on Sunday as the new rocket was officially unveiled.

After days of rain, the clouds parted just in time for kids of all ages to celebrate the return of a much-loved piece of play equipment.

Adults appeared as happy as children, many reminiscing about their own childhood experiences playing on the rocket.

The original was built in council’s Katoomba blacksmiths workshop from designs sourced in America by then council engineer John Yeaman. Blackheath engineer Dick West subsequently built 36 more rockets which were installed in parks across Australia.

The original stood in the Soldiers Memorial Park, Blackheath from the early 1960s until 1997, when it was removed for safety reasons.

Andrew Hancock (the late Mr Yeaman’s grandson) as president of Blackheath Rotary two years ago came up with the idea of returning the rocket to the park.

A massive fundraising effort followed to cover the nearly $75,000 cost of building and installing a new rocket.

On Sunday, 10 lucky children were selected through a raffle to be the first to board the rocket, playing at astronauts before taking the slippery dip back to land.

​Mr Hancock thanked all those who had helped bring the dream to reality, including council which had been “very supportive”, he said.