Ilkeston - Folk At The Fair
w/e 21 October 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Council Workers

For the majority of people in Ilkeston, mid-October means only one thing - it's time for the Annual Charter Fair and this year is the 755th anniversary of the event. It has obviously changed a great deal since the charter was first granted in 1252 but today is still steeped in tradition. In previous years I have covered the Fair from almost every conceivable angle including views from the top of St Mary's Church tower, the upper storey windows of the Co-Op building and also from ground level. This year, rather than just picturing some of the rides I decided to focus on some of the Ilkeston folk at the Fair including these two council workers who assisted in setting up the bells in readiness for the official opening at noon on Thursday.
Three Famous Faces

Three more faces working behind the scenes were also on duty outside the Town Hall before the opening. The faces of the wardens, traffic, community and neighbourhood, may be well known in Ilkeston but it is doubtful whether they will ever be as easily recognisable as the three famous faces of Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly and Bill Haley on the Big Wheel behind them.

The Fair provides entertainment for four days for the young at heart of all ages and I shared a joke with these two senior citizens who I caught riding their Shopmobility scooters through the streets. They assured me that they were heading for the Dodgems and taking their own vehicles with them!
Food And Drink

The Fair is not just about sideshows, roundabouts and thrill rides as there are plenty of stalls selling food and drink. Whether it's roast chestnuts, mushy peas, sweet corn, burgers, hot dogs, hot or cold beverages or toffee or chocolate covered apples, the Ilkeston folk found plenty to satisfy their taste buds.

These two ladies were enjoying their sustenance at the foot of the old fountain where they were also able to take the weight of their feet as they refuelled before continuing around the rest of the Fair.
Enjoying The Rides

Space RollerBig BenFine weather for the duration of the Fair brought the crowds out in great numbers and the younger generation found just as much fun in the old traditional rides such as the Waltzer and the Gallopers (as can be seen above) as they did in the more modern rides like the Booster, Waveswinger, Rotor, Move-It, Tango, Space Roller and Big Ben that could also be found around the centre of the town.
The Cakewalk

The Cakewalk has been coming to Ilkeston Fair for more years than many people care to remember but it still provides entertainment and enjoyment in its customary position opposite the Town Hall. Its traditional organ music is a delight for all but is often drowned out by the sound of adjacent rides playing the sounds of today.

A feature of the Fair is the loud music that is constantly played but on Saturday morning before the Fair was in full swing the sound of the organ on the Cakewalk could be heard all around the Market Place.
At The Museum

More organ music was being played on Saturday in the grounds of the Erewash Museum and an old but beautifully maintained steam engine together with a model fairground display inside the building also brought enjoyment to the many visitors.

This short video clip shows both the Gaviola Organ and the steam engine "Renown" at the museum.

And that brings an end to this year's Charter Fair but you can join as as we leave the Fair by watching this video of a walk down Bath Street, again captured on Saturday morning just before lunch. The Fair was not fully open but many of the small roundabouts were operating as the Ilkeston residents went about their weekend shopping.

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