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LATEST NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

LATEST FAIRGROUND MERCURY ISSUED FROM FAGB (11/09/2018)
The latest edition of the Fairground Association of Great Britain's quarterly journal Fairground Mercury arrived at members' doorsteps.

The September edition Vol. 41 No 2 of The Fairground Mercury is now available. To mark the 50th Great Dorset Steam Fair this 40-page, full-colour issue contains a pictorial survey of some of the fairground amusements that have attended the Great Dorset Steam Fair since 1969. Fairs in Dorset form part of acclaimed fairground historian Frances Brown’s account of summer holidays in the early 1950s spent travelling with her uncle and aunt, Joe and Rosie Coneley. Her memories of those halcyon days lead on to a discussion about the various Arks that travelled that part of the country. Roger Mills writes about the fairs held in the neighbouring Cotswold towns of Tetbury and Malmesbury, and a set of recently discovered photographs offer a rare glimpse of Warwick Mop in the 1920s. Pictures of a more recent vintage celebrate the 150th anniversary of Blackpool’s Central Pier while Mike Willis records all the recent machine changes in his regular Roundabouts column. And there’s plenty more.

The Fairground Mercury is sent free four times a year to all members of the Fairground Association of Great Britain. To obtain a copy of this new edition and the next three send a subscription of £15 (OAPs and under 16s, £12) to: Lynn Calladine, FAGB Membership Secretary, 29 Mill Street, Belper, Derbys DE56 1DT. Payment should be made out to FAGB and please enclose an SAE for the despatch of your membership card. All new members will also be sent a complimentary copy of the FAGB's booklet celebrating the 150th anniversary of the legendary showman, Pat Collins.


You can alternatively also join the FAGB online visit www.fagb.co.uk.

Fairground Mercury

NEWCASTLE HOPPINGS FAIR & MODEL SHOW (06/07/2018)
Last weekend I completed 700 miles drive north for The Hoppings one of Europe's largest fairground held on Newcastle Town Moor.

The fair included a few fresh attractions including Jimmy Bowry's Skid, David Taylor's Air Maxx 360, Keith Jnr & Brett Turner's Miami, Event Leisure's Reverse Bungee and James Smith's Paratrooper on first visits, along with return visits for Walter Murphy's 2Xtreme Capriolo, Stewart Robinson's Dodgem & Twist and Stanley Reeves' Top Scan.

The model show held on the final day was organised by Paul Needham and held inside the marquee adjacent to S & D Leisure's Moose Bar.

Below are the website's compilation videos recently posted onto the's site YouTube page of the fair and the model show.


LATEST FAIRGROUND MERCURY ISSUED FROM FAGB (18/06/2018)
The latest edition of the Fairground Association of Great Britain's quarterly journal Fairground Mercury arrived at members' doorsteps.

The June edition Vol. 41 No 1 celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Thurston family’s fairground history. David Springthorpe, who has known the various branches of the Thurston family for almost 60 years now, recalls in words and pictures his many encounters with this celebrated fairground dynasty. Also celebrated in this issue is the late Harry Wigfield, who died earlier this year aged 95. From the late 1960s onwards Harry organised a series of steam fairs as well as restoring a succession of vintage rides that had disappeared from public view. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Coronation Speedway, originally owned by the London showman Harry Gray. The tribute to him features colour shots of all the rides he owned as well as some of the fairs he ran. This edition also includes Alan Ingram’s memories of the pull-on at Kirkcaldy in 1987, Mike Willis’s round-up of all the recent machine changes, Doug Roseaman’s comments on the ride designs of the late 1970s, and many other items. Like the two previous editions this issue has been expanded to 40 pages to mark the Association’s 40th anniversary this year.

The Fairground Mercury is sent free four times a year to all members of the Fairground Association of Great Britain. To obtain a copy of this new edition and the next three send a subscription of £15 (OAPs and under 16s, £12) to: Lynn Calladine, FAGB Membership Secretary, 29 Mill Street, Belper, Derbys DE56 1DT. Payment should be made out to FAGB and please enclose an SAE for the despatch of your membership card. All new members will also be sent a complimentary copy of the FAGB's booklet celebrating the 150th anniversary of the legendary showman, Pat Collins.


You can alternatively also join the FAGB online visit www.fagb.co.uk.

Fairground Mercury

LATEST PLATFORM ISSUED FROM FAIRGROUND SOCIETY (14/05/2018)
The latest edition of the Fairground Society's quarterly journal Platform arrived at members' doorsteps.

Inside Issue 132 (May 2018) the editor Stephen Smith begins with a tribute to the late Harry Wigfield whose name is familiar with senior enthusiasts for travelling the ex-Crow Royal Coronation Speedway, healong with Kevin Scrivens provides us details of the German Noah's Ark that Harry previously owned. Stephen Smith also provides a detailed account of the Shipley family from East Riding of Yorkshire. Well-known magic performer Andrew van Buren tells the story of "The Original Ringmaster" Philip Astley and that he should deserve better recognition in his birthplace of Newcastle under Lyme. These and many more make this 40 page magazine a great bedtime read.


To join the association and receive four free copies of this journal per year visit www.fairgroundsociety.com.

Platform

KIRKCALDY LINKS MARKET FAIR & MODEL SHOW (14/05/2018)
Last month I completed 960 miles solo drive north to Kirkcaldy Links Market, Scotland's premier fair. Billed as "Europe's Largest Street Fair" the six day event took place along the Esplanade of the Fife Coast.

The fair itself is well covered in the Reports Index of this website. On Saturday 21st April the Fairground Association of Great Britain held the annual Kirkcaldy Fairground Model Show. The awards went as follows Best in Show: Preston Irvin for his large layout; Best Transport: Iain Roberts for his 4mm diorama; Best Layout: Alex Chalmers with the late Archie Grieve's layout; new trophy donated by Mick Reynolds for Best New or Improved Model: Chris Ace for his 1:24 scale Waltzer; and the Archie Grieve Memorial Trophy: Graeme McQuaker for his transport layout.

There was also trophies for the main attractions on the fair itself, Best Ride: Mitchell Wilmot's Air Raid Extreme; Best Transport: Stanley Reeves Jnr; Best Supporting Attraction: tied between Mattie Taylor's Chocolate Wheel Stall & Dean Stirlings Jungle Adventure Fun House; new trophy Best Juvenile: Frankie Smith's new Convoy ride; and also new Best Catering: Alexandra Whitelegg for the Steam Train Grill stall.

Below are the website's compilation videos recently posted onto the's site YouTube page of the fair and the model show.


STAMFORD MID-LENT FAIR MODEL SHOW 2018 (19/03/2018)
The annual model exhibition recently took place during the final day of Stamford Mid-Lent Fair on 17/03/2018. Many enthusiasts came to visit us inside the warm, from very bitterly cold conditions outside.

Organised by local enthusiasts Andy Hill and Terry Baker, the snow blizzards plaguing the UK thankfully failed to keep any of the potiental exhibitors away providing a very well filled hall of models. It was my first viewing of David Wragg's recently acquired amusement ride models from USA, the Tumble Bug and Circle Swing. Also on show for the first time was the latest Miami model from Paul Needham, built for local enthusiast Dan Steele.

Below is the website's new compilation video recently posted onto the's site YouTube page.


LATEST FAIRGROUND MERCURY ISSUED FROM FAGB (19/03/2018)
The latest edition of the Fairground Association of Great Britain's quarterly journal Fairground Mercury arrived at members' doorsteps.

The latest edition Vol. 40 Issue 4 of The Fairground Mercury (similar to the previous edition) has been extended to 40 pages to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Fairground Association of Great Britain. In this issue: Neil Calladine writes about the long-standing relationship between the fairground and the circus to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of circus in this country; Bill Disley recalls the juvenile train ride-builder Sid Winnard; Tommy Green details the career of a Scenic traction engine owned by his family; and Roger Mills chronicles the demise of two historic street fairs in the 1960s. Also in this issue: Mike Willis lists the changes in machine ownership over the last quarter; Doug Roseaman writes about fairground modelmaking; plus lots more about Rose’s Pleasure Parks.

The Fairground Mercury is sent free four times a year to all members of the Fairground Association of Great Britain. To obtain a copy of this new edition and the next three send a subscription of £15 (OAPs and under 16s, £12) to: Lynn Calladine, FAGB Membership Secretary, 29 Mill Street, Belper, Derbys DE56 1DT. Payment should be made out to FAGB and please enclose an SAE for the despatch of your membership card. All new members will also be sent a complimentary copy of the FAGB’s booklet celebrating the 150th anniversary of the legendary showman, Pat Collins.


You can alternatively also join the FAGB online visit www.fagb.co.uk.

Fairground Mercury

BABY VALENTINES FAIR 2018 (25/02/2018)
Leeds Baby Valentines Fair once again took place on Saturday 17th February, organised by Owen Ralph with sponsorship coming from International Fun Fairs, The Fairground Society and the FAGB.

The venue this returned to The Bremner Suite at Leeds United Football Club. Exhibits came from all over the UK from far North as Inverness to far South as Hampshire. The prize for the best model at the show went to Dave Wilson for the 1:24 scale Superbowl built by Vic Robinson based to the machine once owned by Arthur Holland which itself was on the fair outside with current owner Evan Moran. Both Evan Snr & Jnr came to the show and were impressed with the model of their ride.

To the exhibits new on show were Brandon Baker's LEGO Big Wheel, Ray Grieve's 1:24 scale Waltzer, Niall Cockburn's new Dragon Coaster on his 1:50 layout on debut, Elaine Ace's 1:24 kiosk and Paula Saxton's 1:24 Ghost House accompanying her partner's aforementioned Superbowl. This video recently released on YouTube shows much of the exhibits on show.





LATEST PLATFORM ISSUED FROM FAIRGROUND SOCIETY (25/02/2018)
Earlier this month the latest edition of the Fairground Society's quarterly journal Platform arrived at members' doorsteps.

Inside Issue 131 (February 2018) Ian Trowell continues his research to 1970s & 1980s novelty rides imported from the USA, Part Two he looks at the Chance Zipper. At one time there were as many as four on the UK circuit in the early 1990's. Editor Steven Smith provides an article about the last Hayes Skid which your webmaster saw in the ownership of Edward Beach in 1996. This ride is currently being carefully restored by Andy Butler with help from Harris Bros from West Sussex. Other articles include Stan Savage reflecting on J P Collins' Waltzer, Ned Williams tells the story about little-known showman Ernest Steel and Tommy Green's final part about George Green tells us how his business developed from fairgrounds to a cinema chain. These and and many more articles make this 40 page magazine a great bedtime read.


To join the association and receive four free copies of this journal per year visit www.fairgroundsociety.com.

Platform

NATIONAL FUNFAIR EXTRAVAGANZA 2018 (24/01/2018)
The fairground model exhibition season once again kicked off nice and early with the 13th National Funfair Extravaganza last Saturday 20th January.

Organised by enthusiasts Bill Lane and Mike Willis this annual free event was superbly well supported by showmen and enthusiasts from many parts of the UK and by the local residents. From the model exhibits on show for the first time were Roger and Rob Webb's 1:50 showmen's yard layout, Ray Grieve's 1:24 well-lit Waltzer and Paul Needham's self-built 1:24 scale Booster which he started as far back as 2007!

A small selection of photos from last Saturday are on the Archives Funfair Extravaganza feature (more on the website's Facebook page).
Below is the website's new compilation video recently posted onto the's site YouTube page.


LATEST FAIRGROUND MERCURY ISSUED FROM FAGB (05/12/2017)
The latest edition of the Fairground Association of Great Britain's quarterly journal Fairground Mercury arrived at members' doorsteps.

Vol. 40 Issue 3 (December 2017) has been enlarged to 40 pages to mark the 40th anniversary of the FAGB in January. In his jottings Graham Downie announces the recent sad passing of the FAGB's Vice Chairman Michael (Mick) Claffey from Cancer aged 69 years. I will in the meantime provide my personal tribute to Mick. He was most highly respected and knowledgable enthusiast who the younger generation like myself always looked up to. A great embassador to the fairground business the showmen unanimously spoke in awe of him. His role as Vice Chairman was also significant as he was intrumental with the help of the now Secretary David Wragg (of whom he proprosed to join the Committee) to resurrect Nottingham Goose Fair's FAGB Model Show and Exhibition. His funeral from all accounts was extremely well attended. Our condolences go to his family and close friends for their recent loss.

Going back to the magazine, the main feature is an article by Mike Hanna which documents the history of Rose's Pleasure Parks – the funfair operated by brothers Johnny and Freddie Rose for over four decades from the 1940s. The article is illustrated with 26 photographs, most of them taken by that doyen of fairground enthusiasts, the late Philip Bradley. Also in this issue: Roger Mills recalls that very special firm, Robert Edwards & Sons of Swindon who ceased travelling 25 years ago, his article containing some classic colour shots from the 1950s and 1960s; showman Brian Collins writes about his pioneering venture at Alton Towers; a long-forgotten vintage amusement park in Wales is remembered; while Alan Ingram recounts his earliest fairground outings over 30 years ago. As usual Mike Willis documents all the machine changes that have occurred since the September issue of the Mercury, and Doug Roseaman offers his customary tips to fairground model-makers.


To join the association and receive four free copies of this journal per year visit www.fagb.co.uk.

Fairground Mercury

LATEST PLATFORM ISSUED FROM FAIRGROUND SOCIETY (26/10/2017)
The latest edition of the Fairground Society's quarterly journal Platform arrived at members' doorsteps.

Inside Issue 130 (November 2017) the editor Stephen Smith provides an interesting article about Bertie Parkin's unique Space Ships family ride from the 1950's being saved and is now safely stored at Dingles awaiting restoration, details about the five Skid's built by Hayes Fabrications (two of which were recently restored for travelling) and Tommy Green talks about the showmen's engines and Cinemograph Shows his great-uncle George Green travelled. These and many more make this 40 page magazine a great bedtime read.


To join the association and receive four free copies of this journal per year visit www.fairgroundsociety.com.

Platform

NOTTINGHAM GOOSE & HULL FAIRS (28/09/2017)
The end of September provides a great time for fairground enthusiasts in the UK and Europe. The anticipation begins to build to see what arrives at Nottingham Goose and Hull Fairs which both begin early next month.

To wet your appetite here are a couple of constantly updated photograph sites from local enthusiasts from both cities.


For Nottingham Goose Fair: Phil Heath Photography on Blogspot.

For Hull Fair: Roger Wilson's Flickr Account.

LATEST FAIRGROUND MERCURY ISSUED FROM FAGB (05/09/2017)
The latest edition of the Fairground Association of Great Britain's quarterly journal Fairground Mercury arrived at members' doorsteps.

The Vol. 40 Issue 2 (September 2017) features latest changes of ownership of fairground and amusement park rides, David Wragg gives members an insight on the recent purchase of the Maurer Power Tower by Peter Sedgwick Jnr, Shaun Martin provides a history about Freefall Towers, a biography about the enterprising Kent showman Henry Smith and his introduction of novelty rides to Margate's Dreamland Amusement Park during the 1970's & 1980's, Doug Roseamann provides a fitting tribute to enterprising modelmaker the late Vic King, Owen Ralph recalls his boyhood memories of Preston Whit Fair during the 1980's and the threat it faces today plus some feedback from previous issues and other tributes making this 32 page magazine a great bedtime read.


To join the association and receive four free copies of this journal per year visit www.fagb.co.uk.

Fairground Mercury

NEW 1:24 SCALE WALTZER FROM S & B MODELS (05/09/2017)
Latest fairground model from Steven Wilcox is this working 1:24 scale model based on a Fairtrade Services Waltzer.

The model designed and constructed for owner Ray Grieve includes the latest RGB programmed LED lighting. All parts are designed by Steven and produced by his 3D printer. There has been lots of enquiries about future models but Steven does a very busy order book at this moment if you are prepared to wait. He can be contacted via his website www.sandbmodels.com.


NEW WEBSITE ANNOUNCEMENT (05/09/2017)
The new website for James Noyce and Sons from Farnborough is now online.

The website aimed towards fun fair hire of amusements was the design and development of local web designer MPC Web Design. The new website can be accessed via www.jnoyce-funfairs.com.

TRAYLEN'S AMUSEMENTS WEBSITE OVERHAULED (05/09/2017)
Middlesex fairground firm Traylen's Amusements Ltd recently overhauled its Coming Events list.

Billy Traylen told Fair-Pix that his website was out-of-date and featured dates from 2010. After some research he commissioned MPC Web Design to overhaul the company's wesbite refreshing its look and bring the Coming Events list up to date. Latest dates can be viewed on www.traylensfunfair.co.uk.




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