Tuesday, 13 October 2009

We're off to the fair!

If you grew up in Hull then the chances are that Hull Fair was a large part of your childhood. If it wasn't then your family is just plain weird.

A few facts for you...

Hull Fair visits once a year for a week and is Europe's largest travelling fair. It takes up residence on Walton Street car park which is just beside the KC Stadium. Walton Street is completely shut down and is lined with stalls selling burgers and chips and candyfloss and tacky gifts.

Everyone goes.

I can't believe that there is anyone who lives in Hull that's never been to Hull Fair (and if you haven't - what are you doing?! Get yourself down there, it's open until Saturday!).

I've been pretty much every year, only time I didn't go where those years that I was at uni and if I'd had the money I'd have been back on a train and flinging my money away on cheap thrills.

We would have a routine when we were little. We'd come in from school, Mum would make us eat this broth thing that she used to make which I hated. It had barley in it. Bleurgh I couldn't stand it but we had to eat it so we had something in our stomachs so I would force it down. Then came the interminable wait for said broth to settle properly in our stomachs before we got all bundled up in jumpers, coats, gloves, hats and scarves and made our way there.

When we got there I'd immediately go mental pointing at every single ride I wanted to go on. "That one! And that one! And oh my god, that one!" Mum would make us walk round the whole fair so we could see everything and then decide what we wanted to go on. The fun house was always a must, that's enjoyable for everyone because even if you don't go on you can stand and watch everyone falling over. Same goes for the glass maze, I remember one year being bent over double with tears falling down my face watching people in there.

The waltzers were always a must although a few years ago I had a rather vomitous experience on some and I haven't dared go back on since. Watching people stumbling off them is hilarious though.

I'm pleased to say that as I've got older, although more extreme rides have appeared, the oldies are still there - there's a hall of mirrors, there are helter skelters, there's even a museum of horrors and of course the obligatory ghost trains. It's great seeing the same familar rides which are exactly the same as when I went on them all those years ago (although there is a small part of you that starts to wonder just how old these rides are...)

I could never understand why Mum and Dad didn't want to go on all the rides like I used to. However now I'm older I can see why and the reasons are thus:

- just wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere is enough
- once you get older you get 'the fear' and all you can think about is what would happen if it went wrong
- when you have to pay for it yourself it becomes much more expensive

The boyfriend and I had a wander around, laughed at some people walking about looking a little green around the gills and decided to go on the big wheel. I've actually never been on it before and thought it was about time to give it a go.

And do you know the real reason I went on it?

It was for you guys.

I wanted to get some good photos of the fair and what better way to do that than go up up up in the air?

Well I just hope you bloody appreciate it because I. was. terrified.

I'm not normally much of a scaredy cat when it comes to rides and I can be flung around like the best of them. I think what I wasn't enjoying was the fact that you're not strapped in. You're perfectly safe inside this little cage and there's no way you could ever in a million years fall out but I think it's that psychological feeling of not being strapped in that was just freaking me out. I did eventually get comfortable enough to get my camera out and take a few snaps of Hull Fair from the air.After that experience I took my wobbly legs round the Hook a Duck stalls and shooting galleries to see what was what and the boyfriend behaved like a true man and won me this little guy! He doesn't have a name yet - any suggestions?

We went a few other rides, I won't bore you about them, they were the usual throw you up in the air, spin you round and bring you down to earth where you have to stagger back in to the crowd while your brain stops spinning.

But then the best bit....walking back down Walton Street and stopping off at Bob Carvers for some of the best chips in the world. Then buying brandy snap and toffee apples and cinder toffee and candyfloss and pomegranates and nougat and fudge!

Then it was time to say farewell to the carousel and slowly wander back home, eating brandy snap until you feel sick.

I cannot WAIT until next year :)


Nicola said...

This is so cute! The fair is visiting my town right now, you've made me excited to go at the weekend!

Petit Filoux said...

I'm not usually a great fan of fairs, but I love your account of yours!! Sounds like you had such fun, thanks for going up that wheel to get photos ;-)

My Passport to Style said...

Hi again, Fairgrounds are so thrilling thanks for giving me a lift, so good to post on a northern blog makes me feel right at home! Sharon xxoo

PinkCat said...

Wow - it looks amazing. I love all the sights, sounds and smells of the fair.

My favourite thing is the Hook-A-Duck (I always want to take the ducks home!) and the carousel!

And I love all the fair related food....mmmm

I'm so jealous - it looks and sounds like you had a great time! x

The Curious Cat said...

I love the photos from up above so thanks so much for risking it for us! It is good to face your fears sometimes - rewarding especially when you get some good photos! I haven't been to a fair for years. I loved them when I was a kid though. Sad how the excitement has kind of poured out of me as I have morphed into an adult. It is nice to see someone else still gets excited about them - perhaps I need to find one sometime and get reacquainted! The one in Hull, by the looks of those photos, looks particularly big and special though! xxx

Florence and Mary said...

You are so right about NL at the moment!

I've found the older I've got I'm shopping in M&S and Next more and more. I look dreadful in the whole leggings thing too or I find any nice dresses look great on me but they're too short for me to wear!!!

Victoria xx

miss*H said...

I am a wimp unfortaunely so tend to just watch everyone else go on the rides :)

Is this dantes fair? We just had the fair in my town where it takes over the streets.

Itch2stitch.com said...

Hello! Thank you for visiting me and leaving your kind comment, and I hope you can manage to fight the lurgy off! That really is some fair! I used to love the fair, especially the loud music, the lights and atmosphere! Names? hmmmm, what about Walter after Walton Street, or Bob after the lovely chips!!! Suzie. xxx