Mid-Lent Fair Memories

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Thread Topic: Mid-Lent Fair Memories
Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date February 11, 2013 @ 7:19 PM
 Mid-Lent Fair Memories
  Mid-Lent Fair Memories

Mike Laughton
February 11, 2013 @ 7:19 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Growing up in the 1940s and 50s I can remember Stamford Mid-Lent Fair when it was sited in Broad Street, Red Lion Square, the Sheep Market and the main Car Park (What is now the town bus station). In those days it would have been unthinkable to site rides on the Meadows which was subject to severe flooding every winter and spring.
Bath Row and the Rec  were used to house the show people's caravans and trailers. Some years Bath Row would get flooded and the trailers were forced to make an emergency evacuation.
Many of the rides and attractions occupied the same site year after year; Some for many decades.
These included Hollands Cakewalk outside the Golden Fleece pub, Lings Noah's Ark ride at the junction of the Sheepmarket and Castle Hill and the Octopus which always had pride of place in Red Lion Square.
The Big Wheel and a Waltzer were always on the  Car Park and later the Wheel occupied a site outside the Broad Street chippie for many years. The Waltzer at the top of Ironmonger Street has been on the same site for generations along with the Dodgems outside the Exchange Hall. As kids we used to like the live shows which lasted about 15 minutes and sometime gave us chance to catch a glimpse of a naked lady. Sometimes there was a flea circus and one year there was a show featuring a mindreading pony.
Stamford's Tex Ford went off with the Fair for several years - he dressed as a cowboy and banged the big bass drum for one of the sideshows.
Happy memories!

John Tyers
February 13, 2013 @ 3:00 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Parkins' fair was on the rec in March 1945 a couple of months before the end of the war in Europe.  It had dodgems, a speedway, whip, waltzer, big wheel and was the first "quality" fair since before the war.  I was on the big wheel with my mother and late cousin George Smith who was training with an RASC air despatch company and on embarkation leave.  We were at the top when the air raid siren sounded, all the fair lights went out and the fairmen levered the chairs town to terra firma with a crowbar.  My daredevil cousin could'nt wait and incurred the wrath of the men by climbing down the framework of the machine.  Fortunately the alert only lasted a short time; one of the Luftwaffes last forays over the UK possibly.  
My cousin subsequently served in Burma dropping supplies to troops fighting the Japanese in the jungle.