Ilkeston - The Charter Fair - No. 754
w/e 22 October 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Market Place

Another year, another October and another Charter Fair. The 754th in fact and the travelling showmen turned up in force again to take over the centre of the town with their white knuckle rides, roundabouts, sideshows and assorted amusements for the enjoyment of Ilkeston folk. Seen here from an upper storey of the Co-Op building the Market Place is crammed full of entertainments of all descriptions.
South Street

It's not just the Market Place either as the amusements spread into all the surrounding streets and car parks. These three images all show South Street with the left hand picture again being captured from the Co-Op whilst the two on the right were taken from similar positions near Weaver Row but at different times of day.
Bath Street

The entertainment spreads nearly halfway down Bath Street and is mainly for children in this part of the Fair. Working our way up the hill we can see here the Fun House at night (top left); the Tea Cups and other roundabouts for children near the Albion Centre (top right); more carousels just above the Albion Centre (bottom left) and Hook-A-Duck and balloons for sale near the top of Bath Street (bottom right).
Wharncliffe Road

Another of the main roads leading to the Market Place is Wharncliffe Road. In the not too distant past you would often find a coconut shy here next to a rifle range and I once saw motor bikes roaring around the Wall of Death. On another occasion, the centifugal force generated by The Rotor pinned riders to the wall as the floor dropped away. This year it was the Fun House and what can best be described as a 'Freak Show' that were among the attractions at the side of the Town Hall.
Minor Roads

Other minor roads were also taken over by the travelling showmen including Queen Street and East Street on the left above and Pimlico on the right where most of the more exciting rides including Big Ben occupied the car park. Notice the Scala Cinema behind the Helter Skelter which continued with its normal business throughout the duration of the Fair.
Outside The Library

It was on the Market Place though that there was the greatest variety of fairground attractions with old traditional favourites like the Dodgems standing side by side with large thrill rides like this giant contraption outside the Library that whirled round at an alarming speed and carried the occupants of the seats high into the sky. Younger fair-goers had just as much fun on a bus trip to Blackpool or an updated Hook-A-Duck that is now called Hook Winnie The Pooh not forgetting of course, the Hot Dog stall and the Buckets of Candy Floss.

For as long as I can remember and probably even before that, the Cakewalk with its old pipework organ music has occupied the same location opposite the Town Hall and still manages to attract customers of all ages although some seem more intent on their mobile phones. They're probably texting their friends to let them know how good the fair is this year.
 Big Wheel

And no selection of pictures of Ilkeston's Charter Fair would be complete without at least one shot of the Big Wheel, another ride that has stood in the same position for more years than most people care to remember. I can categorically state though that is was not there 754 years ago when King Henry III first granted the Charter to hold a fair in 1252. Nevertheless, it will no doubt be back again next October for the 755th Fair.

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