Ilkeston - Two Days At The Fair
w/e 23 October 2022
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300
770th Anniversary

As the lorries rolled in and the stalls and rides were moved into the town centre, the signs were there (literally - see image above) that the 770th anniversary of the granting of the Charter in 1252 to hold a fair in October was about to be celebrated. All the images in the collage above were taken on Wednesday 19th October before the Fair opened that evening but the official opening took place the following day on "the first Thursday after the first Sunday after the 11th" as specified in the Charter.

The Opening

So the following day we gathered with many other people on a rain soaked lunchtime to witness the opening at noon. Johnny Victory sang to entertain everyone as the rain came down and civic leaders from surrounding Councils listened to the reading of the Charter by Erewash Borough Council's Chief Executive. The Mayor then introduced two young school chhildren who rang the bells to signify the opening before enjoying the traditional free ride on the Dodgems.

Big Wheel

By teatime on Thursday the rain had stopped and we returned to the Market Place for a walk through the Fair. Roads through the town centre had been closed and traffic lights switched off but there were plenty of other lights all around like those on the Big Wheel in its usual position at the side of the Town Hall.

There were even more lights looking in the other direction towards the Library from food stalls and rides like the Gallopers.

There were several shooting galleries at the Fair where rifles were the weapons of choice but on South Street it was the bow and arrow that was used to pierce the target. Whatever the choice, the prizes for winners appeared to be the same throughout the Fair - cuddly toys. It's a long time since the 1950s/60s when I collected enough tokens on a shooting gallery throughout the week to secure two half tea services - cups, saucers and plates - for my mother!

Moving onto Pimlico and the car park there had been taken over by a selection of large thrill rides.

One of them was the Waltzer and there were more similar rides at other place in the Fair.
Help Mickey

More gentle entertainment though was also available for children and one such stall on the East Street car park saw youngster squirting water at targets to "Help Mickey Save The City".

Also on East Street was a Tagada ride where warning signs advised riders to remain in their seats while the ride was in motion. The bucking, rolling, spinning motion of the ride though made it almost impossible and it was not surprising to also read on the notice that pregnant women were not allowed on the ride.

We moved back to the Market Place and the Fair wouldn't be the Fair without at least one picture of the Cakewalk. This one though is not the usual picture as it's taken from the back of the ride.

The Fair opened on Thursday lunchtime in the pouring rain and as we left it appeared to be foggy. That was not the case though as this was just the special effects on the Sizzler ride. The Fair closed before midnight on the Saturday and the rain returned overnight but by Sunday morning most of the Fair had disappeared from the town centre hopefully to return next October for the 771st anniversary.

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