By Lynne Whatmore
Storm Dennis hadn’t yet put in an appearance, but it was still a major talking point as King’s Lynn Mart opened for business on Valentine’s Day, Friday February 14th.
There was a good crowd, as always, for the traditional opening ceremony on the Dodgems at the corner of the Tuesday Market Place. However, the showmen’s usual optimism at the start of a new season was tempered by uncertainty over whether the fair would even get open on the all-important Saturday, with high winds forecast.
In the end, the fair did open but bad weather forced an early close at 5pm.
West Norfolk Mayor Geoff Hipperson opened the charter fair in the presence of a large number of civic dignitaries, clergy and members of The Showmen’s Guild led by President Philip Paris and Eastern Counties Section Chairman Charles Barwick.
Children’s day, when most rides operate at £1, took place on the Monday at the start of the half-term holidays. The fair ran until the following Saturday, February 22nd.
Tenants included: C.E. Appleton, Lawrence Appleton, Florence Barker, Darren Barker, L.E. Carey, Keeley Edwards, William Gray, Donald Gray, R. Crick, Lloyd Barwick, Dean Ayres, Jonas Barwick, Albert Evans, Farrar Shaw, William Percival Snr and Jnr, R.J. Godden, John Woodward Snr and Jnr, Jonson Green, John Green, Douglas Gumble, James Gilbey, Dorinda Holland, R Keeble, B. Harvey, Asa Johnson, A.J. Simons, Micheal Parkin, John Parrish, Patrick Phillips, Donald Print, Perrin Print, John Smart, Spencer Smart, Symonds Leisure, Marshall Tattam,
Craig Turvill, Hollie Keyes, Theodore Whyatt, and Joseph Sneap. The Floating Position went to William Roberts with his Tagada, as last year, and the other smaller floating position was taken by Sloane Owen’s playcentre.
1. Perrin Print’s Tornado 2 Freak Out.
2. A full ride for John Parrish’s Extreme on opening night.
3. Showmen’s Guild President Philip Paris addresses the crowd.
4. West Norfolk Mayor Cllr Geoff Hipperson opened the fair.
5. Farrar Shaw’s Razzamatazz Waltzer with its stunning artwork.
6. Showman Nipper Appleton assists the High Sheriff of Norfolk The Lady Agnew of Oulton, Bishop of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk the Rt Reverend Jonathan Meyrick, and North West Norfolk MP James Wild prepare for a slide down the Helter Skelter.
7. The first ride on Dorinda Holland’s Dodgems.
8. William Roberts’ Tagada took the floating position on the corner of the Tuesday Market Place.