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Saturday, April 20, 2013

FUN FAIRS

  Recapturing the heady heyday of fun fairs
The Noah's Ark, Rodeo Switchback, one-armed bandits, Dodgems and Supersonic Skid are among the highlights at Dingles
PICTURES: EMILY WHITFIELD-WICKS
from:  thisiscornwall.co.uk
Western Morning News
By Simon Parker
Saturday, April 20, 2013
It was the most anticipated event of the calendar – the day a column of brightly-painted trucks and wagons trundled into town.
 The excitement was palpable, fuelled in the preceding days by posters advertising new rides and attractions.
All the talk at school would be of the fair – what time we were going and how much cash we could scrape together.

With today's hi-tech on-screen entertainment, it is perhaps hard for some to imagine just how thrilling the prospect of a ride on the Dodgems, Waltzers or Noah's Ark could be. Then there was the food – the candy floss, toffee apples and horrible slippery hot-dogs not tasted from one year to the next.
Perhaps what attracted children most, though, was the underlying danger – not from white-knuckle rides but from the fairground youths whose lives were so far removed from their own. These travelling people – particularly the boys of our own age – seduced us and scared us in equal measure. We wanted to be them, to run away with the roustabouts, and yet we dare not even speak to them for fear of a smack in the eye.

'Our fairground art is the nation's repository of rides, shows and carved work'
Like other settings up and down the region, the gateway to Fair Field in Redruth was a portal into another world – a place of wonder, awe and horror. We gawped at a sullen, semi-naked "world's most tattooed lady" and a sheep with two heads. We flinched as blood spurted from the lips of boys a few years older than ourselves, who had lied about their age and entered the ring to try their chances with "amateur" boxers. We screamed as the big wheel jerked into reverse. We laughed all the way home, our pockets empty. 

Buoyed with bravado at having survived Fair Saturday for another year, we dreamed of the next time. Inevitably, however, as time passed and we began to consider ourselves more grown up and sophisticated, the allure of the fairground began to fade.
Read more: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Recapturing-heady-heyday-fun-fairs/story-18754847-detail/story.html#ixzz2R0ljBrWI
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