Ilkeston - The 767th
w/e 20 October 2019
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
The 767th Charter Fair

Another year, another October, another Fair and this time it celebrates the 767th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter in 1252.

Wednesday Morning Closed Roads

Most of the travelling showmen trundled their vehicles into town over the preceding weekend and the town centre roads were closed on Tuesday to enable the rides and stalls to be erected.

Finishing Touches

By Wednesday morning finishing touches were all that were needed for the Fair to be ready to start on Wednesday evening although the official opening as per the Charter, is not until the first Thursday after the first Sunday after the 11th of October each year.

The ringing of the bells to signify the opening is scheduled for noon on Thursday but when I arrived on the Market Place shortly before the hour the opening ceremony for some reason had already been conducted and the Mayor and other Civic leaders from neighbouring boroughs were already queuing for the Big Wheel.

The Mayor and invited guests were soon seated on the ride for the traditional free of charge first ride.
Big Wheel & Platform

Even before the Big Wheel started spinning, Council workers had begun to take down the platform where the official opening ceremony had taken place.
First Ride

I remember a time when children from local schools would hurriedly make their way to the Market Place to partake of the free rides but as other attractions started to operate, there were only a few thrill seekers on board.

On The Dodgems

The Civic Party however were still enjoying the privilege and made its way from the Big Wheel to the Dodgems for another free ride.
Bright Lights

As darkness fell I returned to the Fair where the same rides and more were all lit up with brightly coloured lights. No Fair would be complete without at least one photo of the Cakewalk and here are two - the usual one from the front and another from behind.
City Hopper

The Fair changes little from year to year although there are a few different rides and stalls each year. The changes only become apparent when looking back over a number of years but changes there are. At first glance one could be forgiven for thinking the City Hopper has stood here year after year but I remember this spot being occupied by the Sky Rockets, The Caterpillar and The Whip at previous Fairs.

Among the hot dog, mushy pea, hot chestnut and burger stalls among others, a new one I spotted this year was selling all kinds of sweet treats, fudges, candies, nougats and a host of other temptations - maybe a temptation too many!.
Old Favourites

It's the old favourites though that draw many people to the Fair. It will be another year before the Scala and the Town Hall are overshadowed by the Helter Skelter and the Big Wheel for it will be October 2020 before the showmen return for the 768th Charter Fair. By Sunday this year the Market Place was cleared, the roads reopened and life in Ilkeston was returning to normal.

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