Photo of Dane Crow’s Exciter.

Largest Loughborough Fair ever?

Eagerly awaited by the local authority, showpeople, many of the local population, visitors and fairground enthusiasts alike, the 800th Loughborough Fair certainly did not disappoint.

The largest array of amusements seen in the Leicestershire town along with good promotion by Charnwood Borough Council and a number of supporting events ensured that the four day fair (November 10 to 13) was a great success.

As it did three weeks earlier at Ilkeston, BBC East Midlands Today gave positive coverage to the fair on the opening evening. This included informative interviews with showmen Darren Jones and Arthur Proctor. Students also commented that they were very pleased to see the fair back.

The Loughborough Echo featured the fair on the front page as well as further coverage inside, while the council had banners all around town publicising the 800 years of market and fair, the Charter was granted to the Lord of the Manor Hugh le Despenser by King Henry III in 1221.

The Town Hall – right in the centre of the fair on Market Place – hosted a month-long exhibition to mark the occasion. Featured was fairground art, including work by past president of The Showmen’s Guild David Wallis Snr, whose family has been associated with the fair for generations, plus photos and models from local enthusiasts, and entertaining anecdotes from Loughborough residents. A separate article about the exhibition will feature in the January’s World’s Fair.

Photo of Brandon Weston’s mini-Waltzer.
Brandon Weston’s mini-Waltzer.

On Saturday, the final day of the fair, the Fairground Association of Great Britain’s popular model show took place at John Storer House. Here the Ronnie Taylor Award was presented to Albert Holland Snr by the association’s President, Councillor Anthony Harris.

The fair was officially opened at 6pm on Wednesday, November 10, by the Mayor of Charnwood, Councillor Paul Baines. Generally, those we spoke with on Saturday, which was mild and fine throughout, were satisfied with the levels of business.

There were fresh and exciting attractions in virtually every area, along with the regular favourites, making this a special year for Loughborough Fair with a good atmosphere.

At the High Street end there was a fantastic light show from Billy Crow’s King Frog and Dane Crow’s Exciter while Colin Pawley worked the mic well on his Animal Kingdom pick. Fresh attraction in The Market Place were Elliott Crow’s Beach Party Miami and Macauley Hart’s Jungle Fun House. Nearby, Albert Godden’s shooter themed as a Wild West Saloon was impressive.

Photo of Elliott Crow’s Beach Party Miami on its first visit to Loughborough.
Elliott Crow’s Beach Party Miami on a first visit to Loughborough.

In Devonshire Square, Lawrence Bishton’s Gallopers looked a picture and competed well with its more modern neighbours. The narrower Market Street had a line of games and juvenile attractions leading to Ashby Square, which hosted Stewart Ashley Robinson’s Star Flyer and John Holland’s Miami.

Due to ongoing regeneration work taking place in Ward End and Bedford Square, some regular tenants were relocated to the Granby Street car park, where the whole area was utilised on this occasion. Newcomers here were Joe Barker’s Fun House, Albert E Holland Jnr’s Extreme Orbiter, Ryan Pearson’s Matterhorn, Ashley Wood’s Miami and John Groom’s Booster.

Photo of Joe Barker’s Fun House and Ryan Pearson’s Matterhorn on the Granby Street car park (photo by Owen Ralph).
Joe Barker’s Fun House and Ryan Pearson’s Matterhorn on the Granby Street car park (photo by Owen Ralph).

Michael Thompson’s traditional Dodgem made a first visit to Bedford Square, replacing Alex Holland’s track. Another newcomer was Robert Summers’ Fantasy Land Fun House, occupying a place in nearby New Street, down the side of John Storer House.

Major rides and attractions

James Squires’ Ghost Train

John Wheatley’s Spooky Towers Haunted House

George Brett’s Over The Falls Booster

Dane Crow’s Exciter (main photo)

Billy Crow & Son’s King Frog (Jump & Smile)

John Proctor’s Dodgems

William Percival Jnr’s Waltzer

Elliott Crow’s Beach Party Miami

Stanley Reeves Jnr’s X-Treme Top Scan and AtmosFear Loop Fighter

Photo of Stanley Reeves Jnr’s X-Treme Top Scan on the Market Place.
Stanley Reeves Jnr’s X-Treme Top Scan on the Market Place.

Jorden Crole’s Rotor

Edward Furborough’s American Circus Fun House

Stewart Ashley Robinson’s Star Flyer           

John Holland’s Insomnia Miami

Macauley Hart’s Jungle Fun House

Steven Hill’s Miami Trip 3

David Wallis Snr’s Ice Maze  

William Roberts’ Tagada

Katie Louise Noyce’s North Pole Fun House

Keith Stanworth’s Sizzler Twist

Andrew Robinson’s Crazy Pyramids Fun House

Ryan Crow’s Magic Mouse Spinning Coaster

John Groom’s XLR8 Booster

Ashley Wood’s Miami                        

Junior Clark’s Mad House

Ryan Pearson’s Midnight Express Matterhorn

Albert E Holland Jnr’s Extreme Orbiter

Joe Barker’s Crazy Circus Fun House  

Michael Thompson’s Dodgems

Bertie Holland’s Waltzer

John Silcock’s Freak Out

Farrar Shaw’s Fighter Extreme

John Holdsworth’s Crazy Bulls

Charles Cole’s Sizzler Twist (presented by Raymond Armstrong)

Robert Summers’ Fantasy Land Fun House 

Main photo: Dane Crow’s Exciter.

From January 2022 the World’s Fair is back as a monthly print and digital publication, available by subscription only.

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