Take Me Down to the Funfair!
Written by: Violet Myers
The Carter family have been the proud owners of their beautiful, vintage steam fair for generations. Since 1977, when John and Anna Carter bought their first steam powered ride, the delightfully and aptly named Steam Gallopers, the family has toured the country in brightly painted vintage vehicles, stopping for a weekend at each town and spreading a little good clean fun in this naughty filthy world we call home.
The pint sized fair is a retro-lover’s dream, with endless handcrafted details and charm by the bucket load. With a flurry of old fashioned rides it’s ideal for a cheeky once around the carousel with the kids or a great excuse to pop in your victory rolls, throw your arms around a dreamboat and hold on for dear life on the surprisingly terrifying Steam Yacht.
Or you could really commit to the World War II ‘one last night of fun before I ship out tomorrow’ theme by boarding The Dive Bomber and watching your life flash before your eyes as you plummet towards the ground, such fun! Perhaps you really want to impress your best gal, or win a stuffed animal for your handsome fella? Well, sunshine, it’s time for you to grab a (very real) air rifle and let those tin cans have it. Not a fan of the wellness craze? For a mere few tokens you can lob a few balls at a coconut and make it pay for all those bloody coconut flour cupcakes you keep getting tricked into eating.
Finish off the day with eight times the amount of sugar anyone would ever want by chowing down on a couple of deep fried donuts, a 99 ice cream and a good old helping of candyfloss because a fair just ain’t a fair until someone leaves with type 2 diabetes.
The funfair is the epitome of family fun, magical for children and a fantastic way for us older kids to blow off steam (ay? ay? get it?) But, above all, this beautifully restored, handpainted carnival offers a lovely insight into British leisure history bringing to life the joys of a simpler, less technical time. Yeah it’s camp-tastic, outdated by modern standards and perhaps not the most glamorous way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but boy did we love our day at the fair.
Get ready Stoke Newington, it’s your turn next!
Carter’s Steam Fair will be arriving at Clissold Park on Saturday 18th of June until Sunday the 19th. Entry is free, while ride tokens can be bought on site and online. Check out: Steam Fair for more details.
Missed it? Fear not! The fair will be brightening up Priory Park in Hornsey from the 1st to the 3rd of July!
Photos: Mike Ashdown
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