Over the last weekend of May we caught up with Dean and Tara-Jayne Bailey, who, along with son Charles operate Funland’s Family Funfairs, visiting the smaller towns and villages in Devon.
Starting out over Easter the family presented a small family fair at Bovey Tracey, before moving onto Cullompton for a three week stay with a larger selection of attractions. We caught up with them when they moved to Tiverton for the half term school holiday and Jubilee week celebrations.
As usual the visit was spread over two weekends, from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 May, then Thursday 1 to Sunday 3 June. The fair was once again located on a piece of private ground at Kennedy Way just opposite the local Morrisons food store.
The ground has been used by the firm for a good many years now and is well known amongst the local community as the fair and circus site. The adjoining main road is the route to the local college, hospital and leisure facilities so many people pass by daily and can see the fair is back in town.
Alongside the perimeter fencing a row of colourful banners gave details of opening dates and times, plus incentives of all rides at £1 apart from the dodgems. Safety advice and the operation of CCTV cameras on the ground was also publicised. Additional banners and direction signs were placed at roadside locations near the ground and local shopkeepers were happy to display posters in their shop windows.
Over the first three days of the visit the weather was dry and sunny and the level of business was very satisfactory. World’s Fair called in on the Sunday afternoon just as the Showmen opened and a steady flow of families were arriving, but intermittent rain spoiled the afternoon.
The first two days of the Jubilee holiday were dry and sunny and the Showmen got a reasonable living, but spells of thundery rain over the final two days again affected trade.
This time the fair was slightly smaller than usual but there was still a good mixture of amusements. Making a first time appearance in his ownership was Charles Bailey’s Cartoon Circus fun house, which he purchased from Jamie Hurrell. Over the next few months Charles intends to redecorate the new attraction and add some more lighting effects, but he was pleased with the support he got on his visit to Tiverton.
To transport the fun house, and also the dodgems, Charles and his father have acquired a bullnose Scania truck. Painted bright red at the moment, the Scania looks good, and is a welcome addition to their fleet of vehicles.
Catering for the smaller children was the firm’s toy ride, looked after by Robert Pepper, whose daughter is Tara-Jayne Bailey. Completing the fair was Charles Bailey’s trailer-mounted games and Tara-Jayne Bailey’s sweet trailer, minded by her mum, Linda Pepper.
Main photo: Charles Bailey’s newly acquired fun house at Tiverton