There was plenty of showland activity in the area during the time of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, though business was best described as spasmodic with changeable weather occasionally interrupting proceedings.
However, it was pleasing to note that all the fairs were extensively advertised and efforts were made to mark the occasion and make the fairs family-friendly.
Probably the largest fair to visit Abington Park in Northampton was staged by John Scarrott & Sons. Several newcomers featured here including Cy Abbott’s impressive New York, New York Super Bob, James Rogers & Sons’ Matterhorn and John Woodward Snr’s Dragon coaster and Wild West Mine Train. These stood alongside the Scarrott family’s fine array of attractions and a good selection of juvenile rides and games.
The New York, New York then moved the short distance to the old Racecourse for the town’s Caribbean Carnival. Here again John Scarrott & Sons were the lessees, and as their own equipment was open in Peterborough, most of the attractions here were new to the event.
They included Jordan Mitchell’s waltzer, Austin Holland’s Super Bowl and Master Crashers dodgems, plus Richard Jennings’ (Kidderminster) Crazy fun house. Once again, the children were given a wide choice of rides etc.
Play Close in Melton Mowbray was the venue for an attractive holiday fair presented by Ashley and William Wood. Ashley’s Fast Track dodgems and Miami stood with the other major attractions, including Samantha Holland’s Sizzler Twist, James Whiting & Son’s waltzer, Michael McKean Jnr’s Tip Top and Ryan Barwick’s Phantom Chase Roller Ghoster.
This fair was around the dates of the former Melton Show, which, despite the brothers’ efforts to keep it alive for a few years, had been dropped by the time of their return here last year post-Covid.
The weekend following the Jubilee, Jay Weightman brought a colourful fair to the beautiful Welland Park to coincide with Market Harborough’s carnival events, where the bright posters were abundant in the area. For the first time the fair was fenced and featured security staff, toilets, seating and picnic tables around the ground, resulting in a good presentation all round.
Supporting Jay’s Infinity Afterburner and Drop Zone Miami were Scott Mitchell Pullen’s Twist, along with newcomers David Cox & Son’s Euro Star dodgems, DWF Cox’s Ultimate waltzer and Macho Richmond’s House of Fun. There were several juvenile rides at the centre of the ground.
Elsewhere, Billy Bates & Sons presented Gallopers and a nice selection of juvenile rides at Humberstone Gate in Leicester city centre, and Stevens Amusements presented attractions at Corby Pole Fair which takes place in the Old Village every twenty years. Estimates put the attendance here at over 10,000, and the rides were provided by Stanley Freeman & Son.
The major attractions at Abington Park, Northampton included: John Scarrott & Sons’ Formula 1 dodgems and Twister; Philip Scarrott & Sons’ Spin-a-disc 2 waltzer, Super Star and Xzilar8 Miami; Harry Scarrott’s Vortex; John Henry Scarrott’s Orbiter; Cy Abbott’s New York, New York Super Bob; James Rogers & Sons’ Matterhorn; Charlton Derry’s Energizer Meteorite; Leonard Derry’s Roller Ghoster and Beach Party fun house; John Allen Jnr’s Big Top Circus fun house; John Woodward Snr’s Dragon coaster and Gold Mine Runaway Train; Joseph Sneap’s House of Fun; Brogan Owen’s House of Terror; and Elizabeth Hackett’s continental wheel (first weekend only).
Main photo: Cy Abbott’s New York, New York at Abington Park, Northampton