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LATEST NEWS AND REVIEWS

UK FAN ORGANISATIONS INFO (STICKY POST)
For fans of UK funfairs and for showmen alike, there are two well-established UK based fan organisations which consist of mainly enthusiasts using their spare time to support of the industry, preserve and celebrate the history and promote the industry for generations to come. The Fairground Society and The Fairground Association of Great Britain provide priceless support to the fairground scene are highly commended by the showmen.

Founded in 1961, The Fairground Society caters for anyone interested in fairgrounds past or present. A quarterly magazine Platform, is packed with articles and photographs which not only look into the history of fairgrounds and fairground rides, but also keeps members up to date on the latest rides and transport to be seen on British fairgrounds. To join the Fairground Society visit www.fairgroundsociety.com.

The Fairground Association of Great Britain meanwhile was founded in 1978. The main objectives of the association are to provide a focal point for those whose hobby is the travelling fair, to support the cause of the travelling showman and to promote a better understanding of fairs amongst the general public. The Fairground Mercury, our quarterly journal sent free to all members, caters for a broad spectrum of interests: what's new on the fairground, historical studies, transport and model-making. The Mercury is sent free four times a year to all members of the Fairground Association of Great Britain. To join the the FAGB, please visit their website for further details: www.fagb.co.uk.





(OPINION) IS SOCIAL MEDIA KILLING THE FAIRGROUND ENTHUSIAST COMMUNITY? (17/09/23)
As many of you know I have been an active member of the fairground community for nearly 30 years now, thought I'd start with a brief history of how the enthusiast worked until the 1990's.

In this particular period we would be sending/receiving letters through the post, sending photos to publications and regular landline telephone calls to others. By the turn of 2000 the internet evolved with fan websites (such as this very one), message forums were created for us to share information and photos, today there are some very good forums still going today like www.fun-fairs.co.uk for example and several European ones.

By the end of the 2000ís decade social media was invented and we were starting to share photos to friends on the likes of Facebook and the creation of movies were beginning to be posted to YouTube. During the 2010ís and into today social media has evolved into the principle communication medium for everyone. I still regard the likes of websites and message forums as an important line of communication and this is the basis for this post.

Recently I have become very alarmed with the level of behaviour of a minority within the community. The question is social media to blame for allowing them to communicate in such a patronising, self-righteous and at times juvenile manner? For example constantly complaining on their official mediums, always coming across as the victim for issues they cause themselves. Making rude and at times hurtful comments, often hiding behind multiple accounts.On the other hand when we see them in the flesh they either try to be nice or they try to avoid us.

Do you find this acceptable? Well I do not and will not condone this. If you have an issue with someone try and take it up with them personally instead of airing your dirty laundry online to see. Not only other enthusiasts see it showmen do and they do talk about it. Just a shame social media is becoming a central hub for bullies and cowards to hide behind screens to mock others.

Another issue that needs addressing is the level of self-righteous behaviour when it comes to filming & photography at fairs. The public are increasingly often (and understandably) concerned when they see a stranger with a camera at fairs. They need reassurance that those photographing or filming love the fairs and not hiding something.

So if you arrive at a fair where you donít know the showmen, approach a showman or staff and explain why you are there. They can then be made aware you are just an enthusiast wanting to make memories and thus creating media for them to use for their history. Most of the time you will be made welcome, on occasions you may get some advice like not to publish something. They may not wish to be on camera. At all times adhere to their wishes. What we donít want is something a YouTube creator does and that is facing their camera straight at people without consent. This could lead to serious repercussions. What Iím trying to say is use your common sense.


THE NEW YEAR & FAIR-PIX (03/01/2023)
First Happy New Year, I thought Iíll take the opportunity of making a post here on the website of what the current plans are for Fair-Pix in 2023.

At present there are no changes from when I last wrote six months ago about which social media platforms will be utilised. As I said before I don't always decide everything by figures, views, subs, followers etc. isnít everything to me it is just a bonus, to me quality comes before quantity and doing my best to keep this brand different from others.

Website itself: The main website continues to tick over nicely; it is utilised as the one-stop site for all social media links currently in use. All content on the site will continue to stay (although I decided to discontinue the seasonal Hyde Park Winter Wonderland feature as I feel that there is better content elsewhere on social media), the Archive Slideshows was recently updated with the customary review of the recently completed year. The Rides List still needs to be revised at some point, the Fairs Database was looked at last Summer.

Facebook: As previously stated this is where all the up-to-date news and photo albums from recent visits are currently published. Iím currently hovering just below 7,000 followers which has been the case for a while but that to me is not important, itís the plenty of interaction from followers which counts more, so I will continue this as normal. I also have an Archive page also available which was updated last month with old Christmas albums.

Instagram: The following figure again is quite steady at just below 1300 followers but again thatís not most important, the interactions Iíve been frequently receiving from regular and new visitors alike are what counts. There is a healthy mixture of posts from both recent times and from the archives which will continue..

YouTube: As I said before although some brands consider YouTube as their primary source for content this is not the case for Fair-Pix. The channel is merely a support platform for the main website. This may reflect with the fact the subs have been hovering between 1.4k & 1.5k for many months. My main focus for the YouTube channel continues to be highlights from model exhibitions which generally outperform general fairground videos. I slowed down the on ride content during the Autumn as I didnít want to film rides which I enjoy repeat riding. The end of year review & outtakes enjoyed some good viewing. As in recent years I will look at possibly organising some special features from the archives.

Finally I appreciate your ongoing support of the website and its channels, this website has been going for over 22 years now. The social media channels will continue be active as ever. No doubt I shall re-read the post a few months time and see if I have stuck to my words!


WORLD'S FAIR RETURNS IN PRINT (12/01/2022)
The World's Fair recently returned to full print now as a monthly newspaper with the first issue arriving to subscriber's doorsteps from Friday last week (7th January).

The new look issue 48 pages long provides a more informal overview of the fairground industry with not just reports from fairs, interviews and special features. Sadly there are no longer articles from the circus or preservation worlds. To obtain the first copy you have to subscribe, it is no longer available in newspapers. Alternatively you can subscribe to the digital format which is a cheaper option. More information by visiting: worldsfair.co.uk.


LOUGHBOROUGH FAIR BOOK (01/11/2021)
The Fairground Society recently delivered copies to its members an excellent free gift to celebrate 800 years of Loughborough Fair.

The fair is Chartered to open including the second Thursday in November (returning for 2021 from 10th to 13th) occupying varies sites around the town-centre of the Leicestershire University town. The book tells about the history of the fair and the showpeople that regularly attend over time. Over the last 30 or so years this fair has developed into becoming a magnet for attracting the UK's latest thrill rides along with areas developed for traditional attractions such as Bishton's Gallopers and Cake-Walk just two years ago. Copies of the book will be for sale at the forthcoming model show held on Saturday 13th, aftewards copies should be available by the Fairground Society's sales. Link to the organisation is on the below sticky post.




WORLD FUNFAIR MONTH 29/08/2021)
September 2021 has been officially been declared World Funfair Month.

With the Autumn "back-end run" due to recommence very shortly after last year's disruption, the ladies who operate Future 4 Fairgrounds have chosen this particular month as an ideal month to celebrate fairgrounds, raise awareness of the showmen, their culture and the issues they face. Merchandise has been produced such as flags and banners which will be on display at fairgrounds all over the UK and beyond. I have placed a new banner on the homepage to help support the next few weeks.




PHIL HEATH 1951-2020 (23/04/2020)
It is deep sadness that we have to report the passing of one of the UK's most loved characters from the fairground community - Phil Heath aged 68.

Phil was a familiar sight at the big fairs but his first love was undoubtedly his local beloved Nottingham Goose Fair. He also was often found at many steam rallies, railway gatherings and model exhibitions. Like with many other enthusiasts and showpeople alike, I personally felt a huge sense of numbness that one of our unsung heroes from the scene was no longer with us. Rest in peace Matey!





UDPATE ON THE WORLD'S FAIR (02/02/2020)
Some good news to report early is this year is World's Fair has re-established its website to serve showmen & enthusiasts as an online publication, following the sad demise of its newspaper end of last year.

During recent weeks followers of the publisher's Facebook page have been regularly updated with regular snippets, the Showmen's Guild notices have appeared on a regular basis and continued to do so. Furthermore they were providing the occasional photograph and short article. Most recently the site was redesigned using the publishing platform Wordpress which is often used by internet bloggers. Click the photo below to see the new look site.





THE WORLD'S FAIR (04/12/2019)
Yesterday (Tuesday 3rd December) many fairground showmen & enthusiasts spoke to this announcement from the World's Fair on their Facebook page.

It is with deep regret that we have to announce that The World's Fair Ltd has been put into administration as at 2nd December 2019. The joint administrator is Molly Monks MIPA at Milner Boardman Partnership Ltd, telephone +44 (0)161 927 7788, email office@milnerboardman.co.uk. We would like to thank all our many friends, readers and advertisers for your support over the last 115 years. The owners of World's Fair newspaper are trying to secure the future of the newspaper and we will be maintaining this page for the time being, so please continue to check in.

Speaking from personal point of view, as I had last week renewed my subscription it was necessary I had to email the office. This is the response I received yesterday afternoon from Molly Monks:

I can confirm that Worldís Fair Limited (The) entered into Administration on 2 December 2019. Regrettably, I am unable to continue the business of the Company and as a result, the Company has ceased trading. You are an unsecured creditor of the Company in respect of the money owed to you for the subscription fee as the Company can no longer provide this service to you. You will appreciate that at present I cannot make any payment to creditors of the Company in respect of any debts arising prior to my appointment. However, if the payment was made on a credit card you may wish to contact them to see if they are able to provide you with any protection. Our formal notification including a Proof of Debt Form will be issued to you shortly.

As a regular reader for nearly 30 years this is very sad news for the fairground community & it's supporters. My honest views were that the World's Fair really should have kept up with the times of the digital revolution. Their bread & butter revenue, adverts placed by the showmen and manufacturers which has been lost to free advertising on social media. Fairground photos and reports appear on the internet much faster, for example with this website and All the Fun of the Fair (Message Forum). Yes they had a Facebook page to advertising their paper and provided an online issue for Apple users but this is simply not enough to keep up with the times. In the wake of this we will keep you updated with news from the industry.


HULL FAIR AWARD (04/12/2019)
A new award has been created for presentation at Hull Fair every year in recognition of exceptional showmanship.

The award presented by the Fairground Association of Great Britain was designed by Committee member Ian Cant in memory of the association's former vice-Chairman the late Mick Claffey. The award was deservedly presented by David Wallis Snr to W Crow & Sons Amusements whose equipment from the latest thrill rides such as the Exciter to their juveniles & transport are all presented to a very high standard. Joining them at the presentation was Raymond Codona a great friend of Mick's.




Award Ceremony: Left to Right - Ian Cant, Billy Crow, David Wallis Snr, Dane Crow (and children), Richard Laughton and Raymond Codona.


NEW COASTER DEBUTS AT CLARENCE PIER 2019 (10/03/2019)
On Saturday 2nd March the first of two new Coasters opened to the public at Clarence Pier Southsea.

A number of enthusiasts flocked to the Portsmouth amusement park to try out the Mad Mouse which opened at 12 noon. This coaster is one of the Cyclon models from SBF Visa Group (Italy). The second coaster named Tidal Wave is billed as the only one of its kind in the UK and will featuring spinning cars.




BABY VALENTINES FAIR 2018 (25/02/2018)
Leeds Baby Valentines Fair once again took place on Saturday 17th February, organised by Owen Ralph with sponsorship coming from International Fun Fairs, The Fairground Society and the FAGB.

The venue this returned to The Bremner Suite at Leeds United Football Club. Exhibits came from all over the UK from far North as Inverness to far South as Hampshire. The prize for the best model at the show went to Dave Wilson for the 1:24 scale Superbowl built by Vic Robinson based to the machine once owned by Arthur Holland which itself was on the fair outside with current owner Evan Moran. Both Evan Snr & Jnr came to the show and were impressed with the model of their ride.

To the exhibits new on show were Brandon Baker's LEGO Big Wheel, Ray Grieve's 1:24 scale Waltzer, Niall Cockburn's new Dragon Coaster on his 1:50 layout on debut, Elaine Ace's 1:24 kiosk and Paula Saxton's 1:24 Ghost House accompanying her partner's aforementioned Superbowl.




NEW WEBSITE ANNOUNCEMENT (05/09/2017)
The new website for James Noyce and Sons from Farnborough is now online.

The website aimed towards fun fair hire of amusements was the design and development of local web designer MPC Web Design. The new website can be accessed via www.jnoyce-funfairs.com.




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