Are you going to Gibraltar Fair?

As a kid I loved fairs. We had one in our village every year after the maypole procession and there was also one at bonfire night for a few years.

In our local town, where my parents worked, we had Feast Week. This came at the end of July when the local mills were on a two week shutdown for summer holidays.

I loved cocks and horses and dodgems. So did my dad and would happily come on all the rides with me. Actually I think I was just an excuse for him to live out his big kid fantasies. Especially on the dodgems where he rammed as many other cars as possible.

Cocks and horses!
Cocks and horses!
Dodgems! – oops! No they’re not!

These are dodgems though!

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, for some reason my parents were friends with a couple of Feasties. This meant I got free ice cream and we got to sit in their very flash Romany caravan.

No wonder the attraction of the fair was irresistible.

And then I married a fair-hating man. His view wasn’t helped by the fact that one of his relatives went on the big wheel, the bar came loose, and the friend in the middle fell out and was killed. Michael and the other friend hung onto the side, literally for dear life, but after the incident Michael was never the same.

Combined with me working for the Health and Safety Executive, and dealing with fairground accidents every year,

‘Had the health and safety inspectors been round?’

Well, no, they don’t go checking every ride of every operator every year.

‘Why not?’

The obvious answer, ie there aren’t enough inspectors to do that, because the budget isn’t sufficient, isn’t a good idea.

So instead, our legally correct reply was that the Health & Safety at Work Act put the responsibility for correct operation of the machinery upon the owner blah blah etc. The HSE was not responsible for the safety of the rides, the owners were, and yes we would be conducting an investigation.

Not surprisingly my enthusiasm for fairs waned. And, I suppose adults look pretty silly going on rides without kids, because fairs are ostensibly for children and teenagers.

Here in Gib, the fair runs at the end of August and is a precursor to National Day celebrations. While half the space is for rides and attractions, a huge amount of space is devoted to eating. It’s not just hot dogs, although you can get those. Didn’t notice any toffee apples though. Or candy floss. But I probably wasn’t looking for them.

All the fun of the fair? [captions on all photos]

In recent years, the fair has been swapping locations, moving from one car park to another. There is no dedicated fairground, instead, car parks are commandeered for at least two weeks, putting even more pressure on parking spaces in a place where space is tight enough already. At the moment the fair is right next to lots of expensive apartment blocks. Bet they’re loving that.

Eating in the car park?

Or, why not eat at the marina next door to the fair?

Yesterday, Partner went to the Land Rover to collect his wellies to do a small spot of sewage unblocking. Five people stopped to ask him if he was moving his vehicle. Not a chance. Anyone who has a parking spot right now is staying well put.

Oh dear. Wellies, gloves, mask, goggles …
Oh dear. Wellies, gloves, mask, goggles …

So Feria now leaves me cold, whether it’s in Gib or Spain. Old age?

But anyway, Kev has asked me to do three quotes in three days in one of those silly tag things.

Here’s a relevant one:

Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Scarborough, North Bay, looking towards the castle
Scarborough, North Bay, looking towards the castle

When I was younger there was a question about whether it meant an actual fair, or whether or not Scarborough was a fair place. Which indeed it was in its heyday.

Finding accurate info about Scarborough Fair isn’t easy, for example:

Here we will watch King Henry the VIII sign a charter (in 1253 to be precise) which began the annual tradition of a 45-day fair in the seaside city of Scarborough in North Yorkshire (on the North Sea side of the UK). The charter stated, “The Burgesses and their heirs forever may have a yearly fayre in the Borough, to continue from the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary until the Feast of St Michael next following”.

Um … I won’t quote the source for that, suffice to say I doubt the blogger studied English history.

There is a consensus however that it started on 15 August and ran for 45 days. Thank goodness the Gib fair only lasts a week.

I did find discoveryorkshirecoast which has a pretty good summary of the fair’s history.

It’s not surprising I never remembered it in my days working and living there as an archaeologist and later a reporter, because it ended in 1788 after centuries of wrangling with local towns, including Filey, but the real opponent was Seamer.

Seamer’s charter was granted by Richard II to Henry de Percy, Earl of Northumberland, in 1383, but Scarborough began a law suit the following year in the Court of Queen’s Bench for the suppression of the fair, because of the injury done by it to the Scarborough Market.

In the meantime, Scarborough’s prosperity slumped. The number of bakers reduced from eight to four, all four drapers closed their shops, four butchers, ten weavers and 11 tailors, all closed down and only half of the forty public houses remained in business.

Records show that ‘grass now grew in the streets of Scarborough. Shipping and house alike had fallen into decay’.

It cost Scarborough some £2,000 to achieve victory in 1602, but their jubilations were shortlived when James I decided to grant another charter to Seamer. Again the Seamer market was suppressed, but when it was revived again in the 18th century, it was Seamer who came out victors, and the Scarborough Fair ended in 1788.

And, it was Henry III by the way, in 1253. In case anyone wondered.

Henry III
Henry III

119 comments on “Are you going to Gibraltar Fair?

    • LOL. So how many fairs do you visit? Combination of children, adults and noise can’t make it your favourite venue. Interesting photo ops if you can spend the time. I couldn’t.

      A lot of people in Gib never move their cars anyway. Many of us walk or use the bus. Cars tend to be for leaving Gib to go to Spain. But when you can’t find a space, don’t forget most people live in flats without private parking, you keep the one you have. Small space living. Personally I’d ban the feria!


    • I think the last fair I visited was in the 80s, and that was a renaissance fair. Before that, I think we went to one state fair. That’s when a guy at one of those “guess your weight” booths got annoyed at me for wearing loose clothing. He was off by ten pounds. The thing is, he was quite insistent on wanting to guess my weight.

      But otherwise you are spot-on . . . people, lights, people, noise, people all combine to override whatever attraction there might be to the photo opportunities.

      As for the car, I wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper in the long run to just rent one when needed.


      • I’ve never been to a renaissance fair, although they seem to be popular your way which is odd considering America is post Renaissance.

        Booths. No. Def. No.

        Actually there was enough space last night and not too many people. Well, sort of not too many. It wasn’t crowded. Spanish ferias are the work of the devil.

        Trouble is, most people do use them from time to time. Not every day, but enough to make renting a pain. Oh, and no rentals in Gib. Have to go to Spain for that …


    • It was the corporate thing you know? Back then, although we had our guild unions, the owners were becoming more oppressive and I wanted to earn some money for myself. Two hundred and thirty years later? Nothing’s changed.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It’s been years since I’ve been to the fair for the simple reason that it costs a fortune. Our state fair costs $10 per person to get in, rides are $3 each per ride and the food is ridiculously expensive. I’ve had to tell my girls that I’m not taking out a second mortgage to take them to the fair so they can witness a high level of drunkenness and inappropriate behavior (by others, not me). Perhaps your fairs are of a higher caliber. I certainly hope so.


    • No entry fee here or in Spain. No idea what the prices are, I never looked, should have done I suppose :(

      Not seen any drunkeness in Gib or Spain but, I’m not there late. Well, I went to the village one at 11pm but that isn’t considered late. Last night was around 9pm. Totally straight. Me and them.


  2. I have the same nostalgia for fairs as you – I remember dodgems with my Dad and toffee apples which always fell off the stick before you’d finished. These days it’s all theme parks – we went to Thorpe Park once when Son was small – a traumatic experience and not repeated. Never done Disney but I’m quite keen to see Banksy’s Dismaland pastiche.
    We have a permanent old fashioned steam fair near us – proper carousel, steam powered ghost train and a helter skelter. Marvellous day out for kids parties – you get filthy with all the coal dust and everything tastes of smoke but it’s FUN – and reasonable.
    Good to see you back…


    • I’d hate toffee apples now! Ghastly sticky tooth breaking caramel!

      I think I went to Alton Towers, currently (well June) in the news, but they are all much of a muchness anyway. And such a rip off.

      Sounds a good steam fair, and I loved helter skelters. Wonderful fun.

      Thanks. Hope you can tear yourself away from your design-a-mag too :)


      • Oh yes, the initial thrilling frenzy of reading everything has gradually worn off to a more manageable amount. I’m back to book worming – and back to work next week😐


        • I did check it out but, a blog is more than enough. Who has time to read mags?

          I’m looking to books next month hopefully, got an interesting children’s book to review and some Italian based ones.

          Hope you’ve enjoyed the hol :)


  3. What a great post! I love fairs… sights, scents sounds… the lot! Of course you already know that. Those are fabulous pics, Kate. Very well-captured and the colours! :D

    Anyway, I can understand your hubby’s aversion. Hell, I’d probably be the same way given similar, if not the same circumstances. It’s such a shame how some experiences can rob you of some of life’s few joys.

    Hey, who in Yorkshire hasn’t enjoyed Scarborough Fair? We often went on days out while staying in my grandma’s caravan in Flamborough. You can’t beat it. I think that’s why I enjoy Hull Fair so much each year… especially since I missed 20 years worth of them. ;)


    • Um. Went out, took photos, thought: blog post :D

      But I do remember your fair post, far more enthusiastic than mine. You sounded like me 40 years ago :D

      You see, I don’t remember Scarborough Fair! That’s the whole point. I think there might have been one down the bottom which doesn’t really make much sense, but there was a flat bit of land in the middle of nowhere that I *think* housed it. But if you can tell me where it was, great. But I never had to report on it or remember visiting it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, you did a bloody good job and it’s great to see you back on Roughseas again. I was a bit worried… anyway never mind that. I only remember Scarborough Fair vaguely, as we were pretty much dragged through it, then onto the beach, with proper sand-wiches that actually crunched in your mouth.. yeah, not my favourite memories there. As you know, Flamborough was everything. ;)


        • It looked different to Brit fairs. It would, I suppose, the operators are Spanish. No waltzers! Was never sure about those. Always seemed to be full of lairy people and lairy men spinning the seats.

          Needed a break from RS for obvious reasons, hence a totally different post. Sandwiches on the beach LOL! Used to have ours at Brid, my dad would disappear at lunchtime and appear with bread, ham, cheese, whatever, for my mum to make fresh sarnies. Guess the bread came buttered. Don’t remember. Nice though. I’ll see if I can find a pic.

          No pix at all of Flam though, even though I loved Danes Dyke. Rarely went to Scar as a kid, too far from our Brid circuit.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s the same in the US. The’re just different somehow. The US have different types of fairs, but they all have some rides etc… they even have Gun Fairs… I know, right?

            Most understandable. I visited a few times, just in case, but was immediately saddened somewhat by the pic. I figured if it affected me that way…

            Anyway, glad you’re moving on. :) That was a great comeback!

            My dad used Flam as base for trips to and from weather being fine and all, but he didn’t like staying anywhere too long… just long enough for you to start enjoying it, then he was on the move. I honestly believe he went for himself, not for his kids. But when Grandma was with us… things were different. :)


          • Fairs are fairs all over, just different huh?

            He was a big (literally) part of our life for eleven years. It’s weird. One day he’s here, the next he’s not. 😥

            Had to do something with the photos :D

            I really like Flam, but we never went there often enough for my liking. On the other hand, I knew Brid better than the places I grew up in. Mum and Dad would go to the Pier Buffet (now demolished) and I would be left to my merry devices wandering around at age not very old at all. Things were different indeed then.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I know what you mean.
            Yes sort of like I was as a kid in Flamborough… even before that… going to town on a bus with two older sisters the eldest who couldn’t have been more than 10 or ll! Much different!!=


          • Pretty much so. I didn’t go on buses around Brid. Just a little girl wandering around. Usually spending hours in the bookshop near Wilsons Cafe or whatever it was called. Fancy place with chandeliers, waitresses in black with white pinnies. It was huge! Had to queue to get seated. Yummy food. Loved it. So long ago.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I love fairs, and I have two handy excuses for visiting them. The excuses scream loudly (with permission) whenever I drive them down the ‘rollercoaster’ road down from playschool.
    I think it is a fairly safe bet to say that the Scarborough fair was a fair fair and not a fair description.
    Another fair song, rather similar, and also haunting, is ‘She Moved through the Fair’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i love the small town fairs where they do set up on any available ground. Less polish and more fun than the state fair (haven’t been there in years – so big, so expensive, so big business in feel) The small local ones have people that want to chat, real food instead of restaurant catered. Mud on the shoes. But not going until there’s a brisk cool breeze from out of the North. Excessive heat and fair food doesn’t go well together.


    • I think the fairs these days here are just a professional circuit. They always were, but when you saw the same people every year it was different. The food’s nothing special, and I suppose, it’s just not me. I suspect American fairs are different? Don’t know.

      We spend our nights discussing whether the music has finished or whether the wind has changed direction. Usually the latter as it invariably starts up again. No fun when getting up around 6am give or take half an hour.


    • It tends to be on adjoining car parks. They actually block off one of the main roads at night so people can cross between the food tents and the attractions. Beats me. Didn’t notice any cakes, but there again, wasn’t looking for them :D

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I always thought that the song questioned whether I was going to a fair in Scarborough. Never considered that it could be asking whether I’m going to Scarborough, which is fair. Listening to the lyrics now, it seems that the latter interpretation is more likely. Who knew?

    A timely post because Grant and I have been talking about going to our state’s fair although, as Cotton Boll says, it costs money and since we don’t ride the rides (unregulated and dangerous) or eat the food (fried, buttered and/or sugared), there doesn’t seem to be much point. From your photos, your fairs look very much like ours.

    For those of us across the pond: what is a dodgem?


    • Well I think the current interpretation seems to be about the fair, but I do like the other one.

      Sounds like going to your state fair would be an interesting exercise in pointlessness! Unregulated rides! Eek! Ours (in UK) should gave an annual engineer’s inspection by law.

      I’ve added a couple of dodgem pix for you, third photos down. That should explain.


  7. My father used to accompany me on the dodgems…and the blood lust it rouses returned when there was a small fair in the local town in France…I took no prisoners.

    I used to enjoy the county shows in England…and then they turned into fairgrounds and stands for selling tat, so i didn’t go in later years.

    Here a fair seems to consist of letting off mortars to indicate the start of the affair…a very noisy group blasting out what is said to be music and stands selling deep fried portions of pork..


    • Ha! Sounds like fathers love dodgems and pass on their evil ways to their daughters. The only county show near us was the Harrogate one, (Great Yorksire Show), don’t think I ever went. All the horsey people at school were allowed time off to attend so I’m guessing there was some snob element involved there.

      We visited our local Spanish fair twice. Once when it was on the school ground (?) and then again when it moved to the bottom of our street. We try and make sure we are in Gib for it these days. Music until 3/4/5 am Fri–Sun doesn’t really suit this grumpy old couple.


  8. Interesting reading.
    We have no fairs.
    I love the photos and the captions.
    So now partner will not drive anywhere for the next few days it seems unless it is an emergency?


    • No fairs?!!! Lucky you, although as a younger person, I would have said poor you. Thank you.

      Doesn’t drive in Gib anyway. Free bus service, or walk. The vehicle is really for travelling back to Spain or occasionally work.


    • The fun atmosphere is nice I guess, people enjoying themselves and lots of friendly noise. But there comes a time when you realise you have left it behind. Hopefully they will finish taking the wretched thing down soon and free up the parking.


  9. That’s something like the Royal St. John’s Regatta which, mercifully, is for just one day here. Better half generally drags me down for the day and I slip the brain into la-la land and just wander through the throng waiting for it to end. As for kids liking it, I have four and don’t recall them ever being particularly fond of it at all. These days (they range in age from 18 to 24) only the 18yo comes along and she, like me, gets bored with it quickly. I do suspect, though, that if I were a tourist in your beautiful place I would view it quite differently and would thoroughly enjoy every singe moment and would eve pay money to have my stomach turned in myriad ways, either through so called “rides” or through consuming things I should not :-)


    • Regattas are nice, they have BOATS! At least boats are interesting to look at.

      I don’t know that adults go on rides these days without children in tow. The Gib fair seemed very child orientated. Don’t know what happens later on though, this was around nineish.


  10. I don’t blame your fair-hating man. LOL! I feel the same. Too many people and those rides are not safe at all. When we do go, it will be only for the yummy snacks they have there. Just in and out – before the crowds starts to irritate me.

    I would definitely go to the marina and eat there. The photos you took are absolutely stunning. You know which one is my favourite. :D

    Thanks for this wonderful, virtual tour. I definitely enjoyed.
    Big Hugs to you and Snowy. ♥


  11. Those rides always make me nervous, though I liked them when I was a child, and took my own kids to several. Many places in America have big state fairs, which, of course, being in Manhattan, we don’t. I went to one once, first time I was close up to an adult cow. Much to my shock, sweet “Bessie” was in fact HUGE, and smelled terribly. End of any possible infatuation with these types of fairs. ;) I do love the Renaissance fairs–fun, and much better food!


    • Fairs and animals haven’t mixed where I’ve lived, although I must say I’d def prefer the animals these days. I’ve only ever read about Renaissance fairs on blogs. Seems to be a big thing over your way.


  12. I remember the small fairs which used to visit our town when I was growing up in England. These days, the rides look absolutely terrifying, and reading of some of the dreadful accidents, I would be very loathe to take my grandchildren on any of these rides. Great photos though, Kate. Poor hubby and his wellies! Glad I’m not a man. :) Love your Scarborough image.


    • The fairs near me were all pretty big events and everyone went to them. Also, a good place to get chatted up when managing to go without parents :)

      Certainly deaths from rides have decreased in the UK but reading History Tourist’s comment about American rides being unregulated I think I’d worry about that. Not that I’d dream of going on anything apart from cocks and horses or dodgems. And pretty silly I would look too :D

      Thank you. He got well paid for it. Lots of people say they couldn’t do it, but if the money’s good …

      A very old, scanned photo. Twenty five years ago, maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I commented on this yesterday. Can’t find it. Weird.
    Anyhow, the last fair I went to as per above description was in Ramsey while I lived in the UK. I was a kid.
    I have visited several feiras in Portugal which are more like large markets and much more fun.
    Every village and town has one, often celebrating a Saint or some such. I have a huge medallion commemorating the 2004 Feira of Sao Joao de Madeira,( where my wife grew up.) when we were over there for European Championships.


    • Those stone fingers maybe got RSI?

      Ramsey, IoM? I liked the IoM. Spent a wonderful week there staying at the youth hostel in Laxey. The YH did scampi and chips. Imagine that!

      Not been to a Portuguese one. We did do the big Malaga one. Once. Well, when I say ‘did’ we went into the city during the day when the daytime events were on. We didn’t traipse out to the fairground at night. It is huge. There’s a sizeable one in La Linea which I’m pleased to say we’ve never attended either.

      Your wife comes from Madeira? One of those – many – places on my list to visit that I’ve never ticked off. A finance director at work went there for Christmas I think and stayed at Reids. Typical finance, he said it was ‘all right’.


  14. Hey, good to see a post from Gib! Me, I always suspend my inner curmudgeon for these things and embrace my silly. I avoid the food though. That’s the real H&S issue. We have them in the local parks but we have a lot of parks and it gives the yoof an outlet. Not so much fun on a well tucked rock. Nice about Scarborough too. Like the alternate explanation for ‘fair’ too. Makes much more sense.


    • Thanks Geoff. I won’t call you Geoffle ;) actually it took me ages to work that out! Actually I never noticed the food at all, I was more interested in the rides. For a population of 30,000 it is actually quite a decent fair. I assume it’s something of a money spinner. It would just be good if they put it out of the way. It seems popular though. Warm summer evenings, chance to sit outside and chat endlessly? Appeals to many, especially as most of Gib lives in flats.

      It’s a nice explanation of fair. And in its heyday, certainly as a spa town, Scarborough was indeed very fair. Perhaps both meanings are meant?

      Liked by 1 person

      • None, sadly and the Daughter is singularly uninterested in providing any in the future. I can see a niche market for Rent-a-Grandchild agencies. All the fairy-floss you can eat for $20, and the kid gets some too.


        • You sound like my mum! I think it was a shock when I married, but then it probably kindled grandchildren hopes. They were very quickly, and I mean, VERY, quickly dashed. No way was I having children just to entertain my parents in their old age for a few years before they died. Oh. No.

          Fairy floss = candy floss? That pink fluffy spun sugar? Yuk. Maybe there’s a market the other way round. Rent a grandma?


          • -grin- I didn’t have my daughter until I was 34 so I’m not giving up just yet, but I do understand your position, and hers. And yes, fairy floss is the pink fluffy sugary stuff.
            As for Rent-a-gran, I think that’s already been done. It falls into the category of unpaid and underappreciated. ;)

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think my mum was a similar age to you. But we made it very clear well before that. Some people want children, some don’t, and some just have them. To me, it’s such an important decision, and ours was to not have them. Ah well, perils of wanting grandchildren ;)


          • LOL! Never appeal to me. Let alone changing/washing nappies. My partner worked for a number of medics in his life, and one couple had a pile of filthy nappies casually thrown in a corner in the kitchen. The kitchen! I ask you. I clean up after my dogs better than that.


          • -giggles- Thank you, I feel better now. Do they also clean the house before the tradies come – i.e. plumbers etc? I’ve weaned myself off pre-cleaning when I know they’ll make a mess anyway, but… gee it was hard.


          • My mother cleaned every day anyway! Well, dusting and vacuuming downstairs.

            My partner’s in construction so we rarely need anyone else to work for us :) Back when he trained, (decorating), they were taught never to leave any mess so when he’s finished a job the place is left immaculate. He worked for a firm in Gib with the same ethos too, even one of the directors would pick up a sweeping brush to make sure the site was left tidy. Mind you my partner does draw the line at cleaning before he starts ie one client expected him to vacuum for her to get rid of the cat fur …


  15. I guess what we call a ‘show’ is close enough to a fair. On the bigger side is the Sydney Royal Easter Show which as teenager I loved -long bus trip down from the country to city adventures. I’ve been once as an adult and it was so crowded & hyper I lasted less than 30 minutes. We occasionally go to our local country town’s show, and they have it all, only less of it which suits me just fine.
    If I was in Gib you’d find me at the marina. Stunning pics.


    • Never went to the Sydney Show, nearest I got was a football match at the nearby stadium (back in the 80s). Glad I didn’t go, didn’t realise it was so big, it must be huge!

      The marina is lovely. It’s the less well-known one in Gib, Ocean Village is glitz and bling, Queensway is quiet, monied and relaxing. Much nicer.


  16. such colourful images and some familiar-looking rides.
    it’s been years since i have been to our local PNE (Pacific National Exhibition). it runs the last two weeks of August, beginning on a Saturday, and ending on Labour Day Monday, today. so if i was really desperate i could still go for a few hours…
    but the novelty has worn off somewhat, although i must admit i always did enjoy watching the horse shows and the log-rolling competitions, etc. and yes the food – mini doughnuts were among my favourites, as were the fresh scones.
    and i would usually go on at least one ride… my worst ride experience was on the world-renowned (apparently) roller coaster in my early 20’s. a friend beside me was already groaning up all the way on the first hill, and i was caught up enjoying the view of the city and couldn’t figure out the stress going on beside me – only to find myself slammed around on the seat on the first dip down, and my glasses were almost knocked off. i spent the rest of the ride holding my glasses with one hand, hanging onto the hand rail with the other, all the while groaning and screaming in sync with my friend. and when there were moments of respite, i was asking myself why anybody would voluntarily pay for that?
    a few people ahead of us actually stood up with their arms in the air everytime we got to the the top of another hill.
    in any case, at least i don’t regret being able to say that i went on the historical ride, but it won’t be happening again. :)
    if you or any of your readers would like to check out the PNE, their official website is here. and it turns out they even have a blog now! times have changed since i first went.
    in any case, i won’t be going to the PNE this year, nor to Scarborough Fair either. thank you for this ride down memory lane :)


  17. I was just about to post about the PNE, too! They have lots of exhibits. They used to have an international village — meaning a large building with booths inside where lots of exotic things could be purchased for not too much money. As well, they had an entire building dedicated to food. I remember German sausages, and British scones with jam. Both pretty yummy. That roller coaster described in the post above is indeed very famous. I think it might be the world’s largest wooden rollercoaster. It is for sure very painful! In my teens I took my first ride sitting in the middle of the set of cars — and came out bruised. Someone convinced me to go again the next year, but suggested I sit in the back — because it was the last thing to go over the crest of a hill, and the whole thing would already be slowing down to go back up the next hill before I got to the bottom, so there wouldn’t be as much jarring movement. Lies! I came out bruised yet again. And — foolish me — I listened to my brother the next year, and sat in the front row. Bruised again! I’ve only ever ridden in one roller coaster that I really loved — but unfortunately it was in Japan, and I’ve only ever been there once.

    Our fair isn’t moveable, and sits on a huge plot of land in the city. Some of the rides come and go, but many of them stay all year. The rides aren’t open all year, but they are open over the summer — and in the spring they even offer field trips to school groups, so the students can study and experience the physics of the rides.

    My favourite things at the fair (once I grew past my teen years and didn’t enjoy the rides as much) have been the entertainment (lots of good shows, some of which are free), the animal shows that involve dogs, trained horses — including the large dray horses like percherons and clydesdales — and turning my nose up at some of the food on offer in the booths. The oddest one I saw this year (someone posted a pic) was mini donut poutine. If my understanding is correct, this means that the little donuts were served in a bowl, covered in gravy and cheese curds. Ewwww!

    As for Scarborough Fair, I never knew there was a fair at Scarborough, so always just assumed it was referring to the lovely fair place called Scarborough. Especially since there was “one who lives there.” I learned something new today.


    • It sounds amazing and far too large, more like some of the theme parks we have in the UK which are also permanent rather than travelling fairs. But to my knowledge none of ours, permanent or travelling, mix fairs with animals type shows, those are usually very separate and quite different.

      You two really went for the roller coaster experience. I’m not sure I’ve ever been on it. Maybe once? Twice? Doesn’t exactly go with fear of heights and selective motion sickness. Rather you than me Diana.

      I’ve been feeling nauseous all day and the thought of that mini donut poutine is enough to set my stomach off again.

      Sounds like the medieval fair was quite a big event, but faced competition from local villages and got pushed out. I think when I was living there, I did visit a travelling fair once though, but couldn’t find any current references to it.


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