Saturday, 27 June 2009

Fair Dinkum

I hate to be a killjoy - but I've never been a fan of funfairs.  Being violently thrown around by a selection of garish machines specifically designed to induce nausea? Being forced to listen to an endless loop of Whigfield's 'Saturday Night' whilst queuing for a rancid hot dog? Not really my cup of tea, thanks. 

Last Saturday, however, I was forced to re evaluate my position. Had I been putting the 'unfair' into funfair? (Ouch. Sorry, I just couldn't resist it). If anything was going to persuade me, it was the magnificence of Carter's Steam Fair. 


Thirty years ago, John Carter started collecting unloved and discarded funfair rides and restoring them to their former glory. The result is an amazing working museum, filled with the most wonderful classic fairground attractions. Walking in, you're immediately transported back to a time where candy floss was an exotic novelty and a man could prove his mettle at the coconut shy. There's a civilised, 'old school' feel to the fair, with nothing more violent or extreme than the dodgems (although I must say that the 'hook-a-duck' booth did look somewhat perilous.)


Every inch of the Carter rides are filled with traditional fairground art - and it's all gorgeous - from surreal merry-go-round figures, to celebrations of turn of the century soldiers - it's an glorious tribute to the past. The dedication and attention to detail brought by the Carter team is extraordinary - even the ice cream van is a thing of beauty.


There was so much great stuff at Carters that you'll probably be seeing a few more posts over the coming days - but for the time being, here's a taster of all the fun of the fair.




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