As the end of October loomed, some showpeople were attending their last full fairs of the season before supporting bonfire and lights switch-on events.
Castle Donington Wakes Fair
One of the oldest established fairs in the area took place at Castle Donington in North West Leicestershire on the final weekend of October. During the evenings of Thursday 27, Friday 28 and the Saturday afternoon, the weather was ideal for the fair, although comments on the levels of business varied quite noticeably.
The amusements filled the hilly streets of the small town, where an initiative by Castle Donington Parish Council sees the school car park available for free parking during the Saturday of the Wakes Fair. Councillors and helpers also steward the fair and the road closures, and it is pleasing to see this level of cooperation.
Castle Donington Wakes Fair attractions
The Flash Dance tagada returned this year, now in the ownership of Gareth Smith, and it stood in Hillside with Martin Barker’s Sizzler Twist. Martin Jnr’s helter skelter was nearby, while Henry Barker and Wesley Gill’s Hangover Miami featuring Las Vegas style décor was a newcomer in Castle Hill.
James Whiting & Son’s waltzer occupied its customary position in The Baroon, and Jonathan Barker’s Extreme Frogs were at the top end of Market Street, with Charlton Derry’s Energizer Miami at the lower end.
As well as the regular favourites there were a couple of fresh rides for the children in Borough Street, comprising Henry Wilson’s mini waltzer sporting bold, bright music themed décor, and James Rogers & Sons’ mini Sea Storm.
Larger attractions in this section were Andrew Robinson’s Crazy Pyramids fun house, Leonard Derry’s Roller Ghoster and Harry Furborough’s Magic Kingdom fun house.
Daventry Mop Fair
The September Fair at Daventry was postponed due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and taking place in late October meant that it was nearer to the dates when the Mop Fairs used to take place. However, the clash of dates meant that some regulars were missing, while heavy rain hampered business and meant that The Hollows grassland alongside the Old Gas Works car park was not used.
Here, Alec Shephard’s big wheel, James Rogers & Sons’ Matterhorn and Wayne Robinson’s tagada were making first visits. They were joined by Thomas Jones Jnr’s Formula 1 dodgems and Crazy Jungle fun house, Joseph Danter’s Twister and City Limits Miami, Scott Kayes’ waltzer and lessee Charles Muggeridge’s Dinosaurs fun house.
The Sixfields car park at Northampton provided the venue during two weekends for John Scarrott & Sons, who presented their Formula 1 Dodgems and Twister.
Also here were:
- Philip Scarrott & Sons’ Super Star and Xzilar8 Miami
- John Henry Scarrott’s Orbiter
- Callum Bedford’s Super Bob
- David Rogers & Son’s Meteorite
- Cy Abbott’s Dragon coaster
- Spencer Smart’s Crazy Jungle fun house (on a first visit).
Here again, business was described as rather spasmodic, and the weather likewise.
Main photo: Henry Barker and Wesley Gill’s Miami was on a first visit to Castle Donington Wakes Fair.