Ilkeston - All The Fun Of The Fair
w/e 19 October 2003

South Street By Day

In last week's stage of the Town Walk, we looked at this area of South Street. Just one week later the annual fair has moved in and transformed the place. All of the streets and car parks around the town centre have been closed to normal traffic during the week to allow the rides and sideshows to be set up.
South Street By Night

This is a similar view up South Street by night with townsfolk flocking to the fair as the music and the flashing lights eclipse the Ritz Bingo Hall and the Old Mail House on the right.
Legends On The Big Wheel

The Big Wheel stood in its usual position at the side of the Town Hall and this year was graced by some musical legends. How many can you recognise?
The Cake Walk

All around the town the thump, thump thump of today's music resounded with a heavy bass line as one ride tried to outdo its neighbour but music of a more traditional fairground type could be heard on one of the rides that has been coming to Ilkeston for as long as most people can remember -The Cakewalk.
Hot Dogs, Burgers & Peas

 Traditional fairground food was also plentiful. As well as sweets, candy floss, chips and even curry (hardly traditional) there were sausages, burgers, mushy peas and can't you just smell those onions? The lady on the left serving food on this stall was keen to point out she was seven months pregnant and her size was not due to excessive tasting of the produce on sale!
In Full Swing

All in all, the fair was enjoyed by the majority of people and Ilkestonians are quite happy to have the town centre disrupted for one week each October. The fair was still in full swing late last night but as I write these notes on Sunday afternoon, the streets are already clear and most of the showmen are on their way to their next venue. Tomorrow, council workmen will be restoring bollards on the Market Place, dismantled to allow access to the fair lorries and soon, only the photos, digital images and memories will remain until the 752nd Annual Charter Fair rolls back into town next October for one of Europe's oldest and largest street fairs.

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