photo of ride at Daisy Nook

A North West Easter tradition continues to thrive

Trade at the Easter fair at Daisy Nook in Greater Manchester wasn’t quite up to last year’s post-lockdown levels, but was satisfactory nonetheless according to John Silcock.

Held on Silcock’s own land at the heart of Daisy Nook country park between Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne, the dates for this year’s Easter fair were Saturday 9 to Sunday 24 April. That included – for the first time – a final Sunday’s opening and was later than some Easter fairs. However, catching the opposing school holidays in the boroughs of Oldham and Tameside has always been a balancing act for the lessee here.

Last year, the actual Easter weekend was out of the question, as lockdown restrictions were only eased on the Tuesday afterwards. But once they were, Silcock’s and their tenants experienced some of the best business at Daisy Nook for years, if not decades. Not only was there pent up demand due to lockdown, but there had been no other events in the area for months, for the same reason, whereas normally there would have been fairs beforehand in Ashton and Hollinwood.

Speaking in the last few days of this year’s event, John Silcock told World’s Fair that numbers were down somewhat on 2021, but given the bumper crowds back then it was still a good year. And unlike some Easter presentations in the North West, not a single day’s business was lost to the weather (although there was an early closure on the 12).

One of Silcock’s biggest victories at Daisy Nook in the past decade has been the scrapping of the road closures that blocked access to the fair from either side of the winding road that runs through Daisy Nook. While Oldham Council, which got very nervy at the crowds last year, wanted to reintroduce the restrictions this time, it was not prepared to pay for them. And neither was the lessee, given the detrimental effect it would obviously have had on his and his tenants’ business.

A compromise was reached when Silcock’s agreed to fund some notices advising drivers to moderate their speed through the country park, and also use one of the four recommended car parks. In addition, there was space to park around 30 visitors’ cars on site. Next year John Silcock hopes to reach agreement with a local land owner to provide additional parking over the bank holiday weekend.

Despite its showpiece status in Silcock’s calendar, the line-up at this long established fair doesn’t change too much from year to year. But there was one major newcomer for 2022, as Max Cubbins brought his chilling Terror Towers to the ‘The Nook’, one of the first Ghost Trains to appear here in many a year.

Meanwhile, David James Hackett contributed a new and rather large inflatable in addition to his Ski Jump, which is always popular with the families. Among the other big rides, both John Silcock’s Twister and Side Kick Miami were looking fresh following renovation work over the winter.

Other attractions at Daisy Nook included: John Silcock’s waltzer and dodgems; Arthur Silcock’s Sizzler Twist; Mason Gore’s Mexican Wave Jump & Smile; John Wheatley’s Runaway Train; Albert Hill and Marcus Cubbins’ fun houses; Asa Holland’s helter skelter; and Aaron Holland’s snow slide. Almost 30 supporting juvenile rides, games and food kiosks from Silcock’s and their regulars.

Photo: John Silcock’s Freak Out, a Daisy Nook regular, swings out over Max Cubbins’ Ghost Train, a newcomer for 2022. (Image: courtesy Rides UK)

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