'Fairground' the print for sale is number 4 and has a Remarque - pencil sketch by Tom
Approx. Image Size: 16" x 20"
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|Great excitement - the funfair is
coming! Off we would go to stand at the side of the fence near the spare ground to
watch the gaily coloured caravans and wagons arrive. Sometimes we caught sight of
the Bearded Lady, helping to erect the sideshows. There was always a lot of activity
as the various stalls were set up and we always worried in case it would not be ready in
time for opening day. Clutching our few pennies in our hands, we rushed to try our
hand at Hoop-la or Roll-a-Penny and, if we had enough money, we would have a ride on the
Dodgems or the Whip. We watched the men having a go on the Big Hammer, trying to
ring the bell and win a prize. Those of us who were big enough could go on the Steam
Boat, a huge, oblong contraption with rows of seats inside. It turned all the way
over, so there were straps to stop you falling out. It did have a strong mesh cage
all around it, just in case of accident, but it was still scary. Some of the
sideshows were scary too. You wondered just what they were going to show you once
inside; a pig in a bottle, or the smallest man in the world! The big lads had a go in the
boxing ring, all convinced that they could beat the current champ and win a few shillings.
Not many ever did though, no matter how tough they thought they were!
Most of all, we enjoyed going to the fair at night, when the coloured lights were on and the smell of toffee apples, candyfloss and brandy snaps filled the air. Somehow, the darkness brought out the best odours. We would buy hot potatoes so that we could warm our hands whilst eating them on the walk home.
The big lads called out to any passing girls, asking them to join them for a ride on the ghost train. The girls didnt even answer and just giggled. We always hoped the big lads would get fed up and ask us to go on the ghost train, instead! We were never bothered by pickpockets; only the rich people had to be wary in the crowd!