Ilkeston - A Special Fair
w/e 22 October 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
The 765th Anniversary

The Fair is back in town and this year marks the 765th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter to hold a fair in the middle of the town. That alone marks it as a "Special Fair".

The Opening

It wasn't a very auspicious opening to the Fair though as the weather dampened the proceedings and markedly fewer people turned up to witness the occasion.

After the official opening the visiting civic leaders joined the Mayor of Erewash to enjoy the customary first ride on the Dodgems. As they took their seats all wearing their badges of office I assumed that when the power was switched on there would be a "chain" reaction. Well someone laughed!

I read a comment somewhere that the Fair was "the same as usual" and whilst all the favourites like the Big Wheel, Waltzer and the 1895 built Old Tyme Brooklyn Cakewalk were present in their regular positions there were also some new rides and stalls too. I remember coconut shies, bingo stalls, the Hall of Mirrors, the Boxing Booth, the Caterpillar, Whip and Sky Rocket rides but none of these are here any more. I also remember sideshows with the likes of bearded ladies, giants and midgets, a flea circus, donkey and pony rides but political correctness has confined these too the a foregone age but to say the Fair is "the same as usual" is not really true.

The Fair was enjoyed by all ages from the very young to the elderly but from the expressions on the faces of this picture, I think some people found it more enjoyable than others.
South Street

Ilkeston Charter Fair is "special" for many reasons not least of which is its location right in the centre of the town. Its tentacles spread out along the streets and into the adjoining car parks. Bus routes are diverted, roads closed and people are well advised to leave their cars at home. This is South Street.
Bath Street

Children's roundabouts and food stall stretch halfway down Bath Street.
East Street

On East Street the fairground attractions protrude well into the road.
The Scala

Familiar buildings like the Scala cinema are surrounded by the Fair with many thrill rides occupying the car park to the left of the building.
Market Place

The Market Place of course is the centre of attraction - the Town Hall can be seen here on the right and the Library in the distance.

For a number of years now the Galloping Horses have been relegated from their prime position between the Dodgems and the Waltzer on the Market Place where I remember them being in my school days to the edge of the Fair and a site on the Albion Centre car park. They are still a favourite though for many people as is the Helter Skelter and if you're counting I make the one in this picture, the fourth one at the Fair this year, all of which can be found on this page too. So the age of Ilkeston's Charter Fair and its location make it a "special" Fair this year but it's also the atmosphere that makes it special every year. Here's to the 766th.

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