hooray ... the fair is in town.

in these days of theme parks with rides that can quite literally scare the living sh*t out of you is there really a place left for the travelling health and safety black hole that is the funfair?

do rides like "the big one" really stand up against the breathtaking white knucle fear of ...... er....... the dodgems or the "nutty squirrel ride"

can the fun of being charged £5.00 to fire a banana barelled air gun at nailed down cans for the chance of winning a big orville the duck worth at least £1.50 really be replicated at the big corporate theme parks..

i think fairs should cut there losses on the rides and go back to basics ... what's wrong with a good old fashioned travelling freak show ... looking at the people setting up over the road they wouldn't even need to borrow any of the "special people" from bernoulli's fighting mong stables.
they look like they've got all the freaks they can deal with.

i'd pay good money to see dwarf throwing (using a steam catapult) and
the hilarity of the "mong in the hall of lick proof mirrors" what would you pay money to see?

i only remember going to a fair once as a kid , as usual it had been pishing down solid and the place was like the somme (but with candyfloss) and my dad had met me and my mum "straight from work"
(i learnt in later life this means "straight after 7 or 8 pints after work)
and put the young shortfuse on a small roundabout in a fire engine.

as the ride built up to a crescendo of ... oooh 1 or 2 miles an hour i was being encouraged by father to "ring the bell son" to which i point blank refused... not one to be discouraged dad started to jog alongside me on the ride ... "come on son.... ring the bell"
then he was gone..... i was confused ..... where was my dad???

as i went round again i saw him , rising from the quagmire , covered from head to toe in mud , with streams of water running out of each sleeve...
i tried to talk to mum but she had her back turned.... and her shoulders were going up and down in a strange fashion... surely she couldn't be laughing at poor old dad? :D

the best bit was when he took his bins off he had two proper comedy white eyes like a black and white minstrel.

what are you opinions on fairs ... are they good value family entertainment or a poorly disguised gyppo camp full of thieves burglars and dole cheats?

and have you got any good fairground stories?
The last fair I went to you could hook a duck to win a goldfish.It was december and fcucking freezing. I let my nephew have a go and he won one. Upon closer inspection the poor fish was suspended in a bag of ice. When we examined the other fish they too had all frozen. Still a novelty block of Ice with a dead fish in it for only £1.50 bargain.
I actually prefer the big corporate theme parks to the grotty fairs.

For one thing, have you ever checked out the maintence man on the waltzers? No offence but it doesn't exactly fill me with security knowing that the guy with the black greasy hair, stained brown polyester mix trousers and flip flops is maintaining the 100mph spinning machine I am about to go on!

Plus, when I was 5, my dad nagged and nagged me to go on the dodgems...

Baby Moods: Dad, I do want to go on them
Moodys Dad: Don't be such a feckin saznac and gerron there
Baby Moods: Daaaadd, I don't, ow my ear!

Anyway, he 'persueded me to go on the bloody thing, with him driving of course. Where he promptly crashed into someone else head on (cos he was waving at my mum) and almost broke my nose.

There was so much blood all over the place he never took me again.
Moodybitch said:
Anyway, he 'persueded me to go on the bloody thing, with him driving of course. Where he promptly crashed into someone else head on (cos he was waving at my mum) and almost broke my nose.
Cant ya try that again, gotta be cheaper than a facelift and nose job :lol: :lol:
Took my eldest grandson to the fair 2 weeks ago. £2.50 yes £2.50 a fecking ride, he is only 3.5yrs old, cost me nearly £40.

the rides lasted about 2mins, which is 1.5 more mins than my missus gets :D
essexbob said:
Took my eldest grandson to the fair 2 weeks ago. £2.50 yes £2.50 a fecking ride, he is only 3.5yrs old, cost me nearly £40.

the rides lasted about 2mins, which is 1.5 more mins than my missus gets :D
But cost less
Ahh, the Travelling Fair. So many happy childhood memories :) A reason to escape on your bikes, ride into town and experience the thrill of the Octopus!

No, you're right, with hindsight they were crap :lol:

Do remember one happy moment though, riding the dodgems with Melissa Parker (damn I fancied her :p ) by my side when some of the "older" boys (protozoan Chaves I now realise) came on with bottles of cider. Not yer modern gut-rot white lightening but real 2 litre bottles of Dry Blackthorn!

They looked so cool riding round, swigging from the bottles, until the ride owner (politely) asked them to leave the alcohol on the side. Of course, being Big and Hard, they not only (not so politely) refused, but started to spray said cider on the track.

Never been quite sure how it happened but, in about 5 seconds flat, every ride had stoppedand every one of those theiving gypsy burglars was lined up in front of their dodgems with an array of monkey wrenches, crow bars and assorted lump hammers that would put most steel foundries to shame.

Melissa was by now trying to bury herself in my armpit for fear of the impending slaughter. I was, naturally, staying calm, cool and protective. Ok, I was shitting myself :$

The end came when our local (yes, we still had 'em back then) PC stepped into the ring and actually said "Now, now, we don't want any trouble here do we?"

Could almost feel the wave of "Yes we fcuking do" coming back off the Fairground owners, and most of the spectators who'd by now gathered to watch the carnage.

What we actually got, from the Big, Hard local boys was "No, Mr Brimacome, Sir. We're sorry" followed by an exit field-left that would have put Linford Christie to shame.

Excitement, a clinch from M.P> AND the local knobbers being completely and utterly humiliated..... the best 75p I ever spent :lol:
Still have some of those dodgy grotty travelling ' fairs' about my end.. They slip into town in big rigs, unfold like transformer robots on a corner of the parking lots of downscale malls and then charge an arm and a leg to the toddler set to toss lead weighted rings on too fat wooden milk bottles or blunt darts at sand filled balloons so you can win a stuffed teddy you could get in the mall for one tenth the price.. fun!

I remember going to one with some classmates back in the day.. there was one girl who was head and shoulders above the others in early development and thus an object of lust for all the boys.. She was always turned out just so in frilly skirts and tight sweaters and we followed her about like puppies after kibble.

One of the ' attractions' was the House of Horror.. a mini labirynth on the back of a trailer.. You went up one side into a tunnel and through disorenting inclined floors and dark pockets while tacky sh*t flashed or jumped out at you.. In one spot some minimum wage tosser in a threadbare Gorilla suit leapt out of a cupboard and tried to growl but usually ended up coughing and hacking because he smoked ten packs a day.. but the big draw was near the end as you came back into the light and stepped over a grid.. A compressor shot a blast of cold air up the girls' skirts lifting them, al a Marilyn Monroe, revealing panties and making their nipples stand up in salute... occasionally one of the "lighter" boys would get a blast up his pant leg eliciting a sigh and a strange look...cheap thrill for a quarter..

can't remember all the times I puked after downing too much cotton candy or got kicked for sticking it in girls' hair..

looking back I think we risked our lives on creaking, suspect equipment maintained by neanderthols in greasy overalls and toolbelts loaded down with ballpeen hammers or surly, acne scarred, dank-haired school dropouts with tatooed arms and watery eyes with funny shaped bottles in their back pockets...

Still have a fuzzy green shaggy poodle I won back when I was 12.. think it cost me a week's allowance to win chucking baseballs at bowling pins...
One of the standards for the old style Fayres was the leering, oily old Gyppo who would take every opportunity to touch you "inappropriately" when he strapped you into the ride..
bernoulli said:
One of the standards for the old style Fayres was the leering, oily old Gyppo who would take every opportunity to touch you "inappropriately" when he strapped you into the ride..
Aww blesss you remember every touch dont you my luvverrrrrr :wink: :wink:
Ok, the Aldershot Army Show.....

Among the usual Red Devils displays et al was the accompanying fairground, complete with dodgy looking rides and even dodgier looking gypo's fleecing us out of our hard earned cash.

Situated at one end of the 'fairground' was 'The Reverse Bungee'. A fantastic invention, where two reckless people pay £10, get strapped in to a metal cage and fired 200 ft straight up at 300mph.

Who the feck would be daft/drunk enough to attempt that - well, yes..erm me actually, along with my brother.

Full of bravado (my brother not me), we got into this contraption and took our last look at the crowd forming around us...'goodbye world'...and..we were off!

For a second or two I couldn't even speak/scream I was that full of pure fear. As we reach the 200ft point, the cage spun round and we were now hurtling back to earth face down! I can honestly say I have never felt fear like it before in my life. I managed to let out a whisper that just about formed the words 'oh shi.t'

But it was nothing compared to the expletives coming from my brothers mouth. Now he is usually the tough one, and the sight of him screaming his head off 'oh fcuk, oh jesus, oh fuuuuuuck' made me react with hysteria.

I began to laugh, and laugh, and laugh....the more I laughed the more he screamed. The bloody thing was spinning all over the place and, not content with being covered in snot and tears, I had to go and pee myself too didn't I.

Before you all take the pi.ss, I was not tavelling in a trail of yellow mist, but I did feel a definate trickle. My brother, bless him, did not stop shaking for an hour, and admitted he almost lost control of his hoop.

I have to say it was terrifying. Would I do it again - hell yeah...although may wear some plastic kecks next time just in case. :)
i remember that only a couple of years ago at a well known fair in robin hood country that it still had the boxing tent with the old pro stood waiting to take on the local youths. Go down there about 1030 on a saturday night and watch the local lads fired up on special brew and 20/20 get a right beating,a quality night of viewing
I usually see a fair in terms of beer stands. The german fairs are top and you can normally reckon on 40m max before the next beer. I'll go on a few rides but the best bit is later when there's a group of you, all well on the way, lobbing 6 hoops at a time onto those fücking annoying body-swerving bottles or fishing ducks out with a rod made of that special wood that turns small movements at the hand end into huge parkinson's ones at the other :)
Aaaah, the fairground. Purely there for the specified purpose of removing hard cash from its very temporary residence in your pocket.

Also one of the rare interfaces between the wandering tribespeople of this Isle and and the settled population who consider themselves to be a more normal breed.

I was about 10 when I stared up in awe at the enormous swinging arm, stood on a giant artic and with a tiny cage bolted on the end, containing a few pertrified people, soiling themselves in a unified scream.

"Hell yeah" I said, turning to an equally juvenile companion.

We stepped up timidly against the height restriction measure and breathed a sigh of relief as our hair scraped just above the white line.

A dark tatooed figure behind iron bars gruffly told us to hand over £4 each. We opened our jaws in protest and pointed to the grimy sign saying "£3 per ride". "D'you wanna go or not?" the gipsy asked rhetorically.

Reluctantly we handed over two £5 notes to recieve £1 change. Resistance was useless.

We entered the cage and cranked down the life-jacket style bars. The whole structure was covered in a thin film of greasy rust.

Slowly the pendulum was wound up untill we were facing the ground far below. "Uh-oh" we said with an almightly lump in our throats. With a jerk and the sound of grinding metal, the arm was released.

The ground hurtled towards us as colonic matter turned to a festering liquid. Suddenly the ground was gone and the clouds appeared close at hand. We were upside-down, we had gone all the way round. A disturbing sound of tinkling metal bits echoed in the cage. We prayed that nothing crucial was producing such a noise. The great arm spun round, held us suspended. Stopped, started. The main issue in our minds was to prevent an ND. We squeezed our hoops with all our strength as the boggy fairground threatened to jump up and obliterate us.

Finally, to our umost relief, the cage came to a slowly unwinding halt. Trying to walk on flat ground was a skill that had to be re-mastered. With a sense of satisfaction we duly noted only a slight sticky patch, all self-contained within the arrsecrack.

Just to insult us, the exit path lead through a shop selling candy-floss and other unpalletable confectionaries. A bit like a woman's post-coital hug, totally useless, and very likely to make us sick...
reassuringly_badgers said:
Just to insult us, the exit path lead through a shop selling candy-floss and other unpalletable confectionaries. A bit like a woman's post-coital hug, totally useless, and very likely to make us sick...
Good subject shortfuse.

I think that their utter disregard for health and safety was a bonus.

I used to love the moment when the guy would bolt you and your mate in before moving off to the next cab. Both of you would rattle the bar with the exact same look on your face "Theres no way that's going to keep us in." It made the ride much more exciting with the added element of wondering if you were going to come out on every bend.

The fairground in Platt Fields, Rusholme 1979 was the closest I ever got to owning a Chopper. Christmasses came and went without one ever turning up beneath the tree. "Maybe next year, son," my dad would say, as I unwrapped another Crossfire box.

They used to have one on the merryground at the fair and that's what I was reduced to. Sitting on the fcuker, pretending I was pedalling, as I just went round in circles. I went on twice one day. Just as it was coming to a halt, my mate Kev walked past and consoled me with the words,

"Ha, ha. Why don't you get a real one, Convoy, you fcuking tramp."

I just changed down the gears and climbed off.

It always struck me as odd, that the one-eyed hag that took the money on the Ghost Train was far scarier than anything you'd meet inside.
Pikey Central, occupied by the foul smelling old carnies? Top show...

"Screeeeam if you want to go faster!!"
Ban the fcuking things. There should be a specialist unit trained in Counter Fairground Ops - and I think the RHF are the boys for the job. A few years ago - when the RHF were at Oakington, the fair came to Cambridge and set up on Midsummer Common. One evening, a couple of fusiliers got a tatering by some of the dids. Big fcuking mishtake! They (somehow) got back to camp and the word got out. Quicker than a well greased tortoise on a ski slope, a couple of four tonners pitch up at the fair - laden with jocks up for a bit of payback. They trashed the gaff. Overturned a couple of (large) caravans by all accounts and gave the pikeys a thorough drubbing. Marvellous.

Unfortunately, the ol' Bill got involved and the Guild of Thieving Pikey Pondscum complained to the CO. By this time, most of the Bn. had deployed to Cyprus and it got a bit out of hand - maily due to the ferocity of the retribution - and that mil vehicles were involved (apprently). I think it eventually petered out. I'd love to hear if any ARRSErs were involved.

As far as pikeys in general are concerned, I'd bulldoze the fcuking lot in to kerosene-filled flame pits - six-fingered, interbread filth.
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