FAIRGROUND REVIEW OF THE YEAR – PART 1

by Malcolm Farrelly

2019 was certainly a year to remember for many showmen as the season got off to its best start with record-breaking crowds up and down the country as mild temperatures in the 60sF brought crowds out to Half Term and Valentines Fairs in February, while the season end over Christmas saw further mild weather and not a hint of snow.

All photos bar pic 8: Malcolm Farrelly

Photo 8: Lynne Whatmore

Pic 1: At Heaton Park in Manchester Gary Gore was celebrating bringing fairs to the city for half a decade and the crowds were out in huge numbers to enjoy the attractions over the school holidays.

Pic 2: It was a similar story at Leeds where the Valentines Fair enjoyed some of its best business since 2003!

Pic 3: Indoor fun fairs seemed to be gaining in popularity in the North of England with John Lowry holding events in Liverpool and Harrogate while in Manchester Darran Church worked with Manchester Central on its first indoor fair for a number of years.

Pic 4: For many, Easter proved exceptional too as the weather once again complied with the showmen’s wishes and helped bring out the public to the country’s fairs.

Pic 5: In Lancashire a trip to Hollingworth Lake is a pilgrimage thousands make when the weather is fine to enjoy its lakeside walks and inland seaside feel. Each year over Easter there is also the advantage of fun fair attractions on offer too.

Pic 6: With more than its fill of amusements and attractions to cater for the tourists, Blackpool still boasts its own fair which proves popular with the locals each Spring Bank Holiday.

Pic 7: Michael Wallis Jnr was always renowned for his Boosters having two at one time. In June of 2019 the last one of these was sold and it was his Extreme named Techno Power which would be in attendance at many fairs on his regular run.

Pic 8: JW Shaw’s Amusements’ Fighter Orbiter was on a first-time visit to the Hoppings.

Pic 9: Nobody held more wristband fairs in Yorkshire in 2019 than Marshall Waddington and having held such fairs at Bradford on 3 occasions, Woodhouse Moor in Leeds and Silsden a summer fair at Tingley saw its best business for years as investment in new attractions certainly seemed to have paid off.    

Pic 10: Following a sunny Newcastle there was a continuation in the good weather which saw crowds out in Halifax for its annual seaside event and fair.

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