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  1. #1
    Gaff Lad
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    Default All the Fun of the Fair.

    Most of you know I used to work on the traveling funfair. I had the best years of my life on the fairground.

    Fairgrounds are part of our heritage, they have been for hundreds of years.

    Sadly traditional fairgrounds are on the decline. The smaller fairs that once up on a time would visit our local town and villages are slowly disappearing.

    The permanent seaside funfairs are on the decline too. Spanish City at Whitley bay, fairs at Redcar, Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, Marvels' at Scarborough, Wonderland at Cleethorpes, fairs at Felixstowe, Folkestone, Weymouth, Ocean Beach at Rhyl, Frontier Land at Morecambe and many more have long gone.

    Theme Parks seem to be the way forward, unfortunately.

    The good news is, large fairs such as The Nottingham Goose fair, Newcastle's Hoppings and Hull fair seem to be going from strength to strength.

    Are fairs as good today as they were twenty or thirty years ago? Is the atmosphere as good?

    Do they still sell piping hot mushy peas with mint sauce at the fair.


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    Last edited by rockabilly; 18-04-21 at 23:02.

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  3. #2
    Viv Anderson
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Are the ride operators able to make va living today?

    Is there enough other business from festivals and events to make it work?

    How has digital and mechanisation changed the rides?

    It's there still a gaff-lad culture associated with the rides today?

    EXACT SAME BENEFITS

  4. #3
    Shoot to Thrill
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    There's a fair on Clapham Common at the moment. When I walked past yesterday it was chock full of people enjoying themselves.

    Good to see.


  5. #4
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redemption View Post
    Are the ride operators able to make va living today?

    Is there enough other business from festivals and events to make it work?

    How has digital and mechanisation changed the rides?

    It's there still a gaff-lad culture associated with the rides today?
    Yes, most showmen are making a living today. Times have changed though. The spare bit of waste land where the fair would turn up is no longer, most have been built on. Parish councils are a big enemy to the showmen.
    Fortunately, the councils and parish councils are unable to stop 'charter fairs'.
    As you say, events and concerts, winter openings at Christmas markets etc have been the way forward.

    All the modern rides and theme park type rides are all computer based and use a hydraulic system as opposed to the Waltzer type rides which still use cogs, gears and cheese wheels and hard manual labour.

    Yep the Gaff Lad culture of today is still going strong. The only difference is, H&S has taken away a lot of their fun. Not so much bravery and showing off like back in the day, but the close knit culture is still there.

    The bottom line is there are over 45% less regular fairs in our towns, villages and seasides, compared to the late 1960s/early 70s.


  6. #5
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
    There's a fair on Clapham Common at the moment. When I walked past yesterday it was chock full of people enjoying themselves.

    Good to see.
    Nice one Harvey.

    On Hamstead Heath, there used to be three separate Bank Holiday fairs open, all at the same time back in the day.


  7. #6
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Who's the cool guy with the sunglasses in picture number two?


  8. #7
    Ale ape.
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post
    Do they still sell piping hot mushy peas with mint sauce at the fair.
    I still remember the first time I took Mrs c_r to the Goose Fair. She had been before but had never partaken in 'Nottingham Caviar'. I informed her that it was an essential part of any visit - but it's fair to say, she was rather puzzled by my reverance of it.
    Then I made her try it. She's had it every year we've been back since.


  9. #8
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by congo_red View Post
    I still remember the first time I took Mrs c_r to the Goose Fair. She had been before but had never partaken in 'Nottingham Caviar'. I informed her that it was an essential part of any visit - but it's fair to say, she was rather puzzled by my reverance of it.
    Then I made her try it. She's had it every year we've been back since.
    Well played sir.


  10. #9
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.



    At the fairs in Lancashire...

    they serve Black mushy peas with vinegar.


  11. #10
    Shoot to Thrill
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    A few pictures from when I visited Carters Steam Fair a few years ago. Apologies for the poor photography.






















  12. #11
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
    A few pictures from when I visited Carters Steam Fair a few years ago. Apologies for the poor photography.



















    The last of the proper fairs is Carters. They play proper music too.

    I'm very good friends with Joby Carter. He's got some of my work on his Old Time Amusement Arcade.


  13. #12
    Shoot to Thrill
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post
    The last of the proper fairs is Carters. They play proper music too.

    I'm very good friends with Joby Carter. He's got some of my work on his Old Time Amusement Arcade.
    IIRC the dodgems are all named after classic rock n roll stars


  14. #13
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
    IIRC the dodgems are all named after classic rock n roll stars
    Aye... they are, unfortunately there is one named 'Cliff Richards'.


  15. #14
    Shoot to Thrill
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post
    Aye... they are, unfortunately there is one named 'Cliff Richards'.



  16. #15
    Bob McKinlay
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.

    Surely Keith Richards would have been more appropriate?

    „I believe in socialism because it seems more humanitarian, rather than every man for himself and 'I'm alright jack' and all those arsehole businessmen with all the loot. I made up my mind from viewing society from that angle. That's where I'm from and there's where I've made my decisions from. That's why I believe in socialism“

    „Don't forget you're alive. 'Cause sometimes when you walk around the city and you're in a bad mood, you can think, hey, wait a minute, we're alive! We don't know what the next second will bring and what a fantastic thing this is. This can get easily forgotten in the routine of life, and that's something I'm trying to bring to my attention at all times. Don't forget you're alive. We're not dead, you know. This is the greatest thing.”

    — Joe Strummer

  17. #16
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: All the Fun of the Fair.


    .


    A couple of photos of my visit to Carters when they visited Lichfield two years ago.

    Joby Carter kindly gave me some Free rides passes.


 

 

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