Paul Appleton’s Flamingo arcade at Blaby.

September fairs in Leicester and Northants

Kettering Autumn Fair had just opened for three days’ business when the sad news broke of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The music was immediately turned off and the attractions gradually closed, as the public headed for home once the word began to spread.

As a gesture of goodwill, money-off ride vouchers were handed out to fairgoers as they left the ground. These could be used during the remainder of the stay, resulting in many favourable comments from parents.

Lessees here were John Thurston & Son Ltd and principal attractions were John Scarrott & Sons’ Formula 1 dodgems and Twister, Philip Scarrott & Sons’ Super Star, John Henry Scarrott’s Orbiter and Harry Scarrott’s Vortex.

Charlie Appleton’s Hi Energy Miami and Cy Abbott’s New York, New York Super Bob, along with Dean Ayers’ Circus Circus fun house, Joseph Sneap’s House of Fun and Brogan Owen’s House of Terror were also here.

Following the announcement of the Queen’s death, Tommy Wilson decided to pull down and leave Brackley Market Place; Finedon Feast was postponed for two weeks and Daventry Fair was deferred until October, closer to the original Mop Fair dates.

At Blaby, Barkers Amusements closed for two evenings before reopening on Saturday, and stayed for a further seven days. Here the major attractions were Jonathan Barker’s Hot Wheels dodgems and Extreme Frogs, Martin Barker’s Sizzler Twist and Rhythm Rider Miami, Joe Barker’s waltzer, Swing Out, Crazy Circus fun house and Crazy Cottage and David Rogers & Son’s Meteorite.

Martin Barker’s bumpy slide was a welcome addition to the nice selection of juvenile attractions.

This year Kimbolton Statutes fell on its latest possible date, the third Wednesday in September, the 21st this year. This caused a clash with Wisbech Statutes, and for some a quick overnight move to Stevenage Charter Fair. Lessee Duane Rogers told us that he’d had to implement stricter road closure procedures, which had given him a few headaches.

It was the first time in my memory (quite a long time) that there had been no dodgems present at the Stattie. Grant Manning’s Round-Up occupied the position this time and was quite a novelty here. Also present were Duane’s Sizzler Twist, James W Harris’ Supreme waltzer and Joker Miami and Thomas Harris’ Big Top Circus fun house, along with Marcus Harris’ Crystal Maze and Thomas Harris Jnr’s Psycho haunted mansion and fun house.

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