Thursday, 10 August 2017

The steam fair's in town

Carter's Steam Fair is back at Victoria Park in Bath, so Mr Robot and I popped along after work this evening. I missed it last year because I was poorly, so it was lovely to go along again. The weather has been awful since the fair opened on Saturday, but tonight it was sunny. I was really excited to be revisiting the fair, so wore my very silly space cats dress, which someone at work described approvingly as 'f***ing bonkers'.

Here I am riding on the Gallopers. According to Carter's, there's a difference between British Gallopers and American Carousels. Gallopers turn clockwise, not anticlockwise, and carousel horses are prancing. To be honest, I'd never known there was a difference, but anyone can see Carter's Gallopers are a work of art, from the portraits of kings and queens above the horses, or music hall artistes round the centre of the ride, or the wonderfully decorated organ. I always go on this ride because it's so beautiful. You can see the steam engine that powers it glowing away in the centre.

The big attraction for me this year was the 1960s Ghost Train.
I'd never been on it before (I first saw it last year as my morning walk took me past the fair site). It's a traditional 'sit in a little cart and be taken past illuminated monsters' ride, so is probably exactly what you'd expect, but it's fun nonetheless, and it lasted longer than you'd expect from the small size of the ride. The monsters were ace; they had a proper 30s-50s B-movie look. I wasn't scared so much as delighted.
There were a few changes from past years. There was no helter-skelter this year, which was a shame as it's such a big, dramatic structure. Its height and solidity really adds something to the landscape of the fair. I was also sad to see the cars on the rock 'n' roll dodgems had been changed. Carter's had to do this because the old cars, which had the names of famous rock 'n' rollers on, were too worn out to keep running, but the new ones are fairly plain and it's not as much fun bumping into a car with a number on as it is ramming Jerry Lee Lewis or chasing down Elvis. I hope they make the new cars look more interesting over the winter, which is when the rides all get overhauled.

However, other classic rides were there, including the 1920s Steam Yachts, the 1960s Lightning Skid, and the 1940s Victory Dive Bomber, which is without a doubt one of the most terrifying rides I've ever been on. While the arcade wasn't there - so no What The Butler Saw machines for Mr Robot to ogle - the Mirror Show (a classic hall of mirrors) was new to me. A fair should change, really, it should never be what you expected. Delightful, but always a little surprising. And Carter's is that.
If you fancy popping along, it'll be in Bath till the 20th of August.

16 comments :

  1. How fun!
    What a perfect outing to wear the space cats dress.

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    1. It is so lovely - a really nice, friendly thing. tourists love it.

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  2. That's a wonderful photo. I can't think of a better place to wear a bonkers dress!
    So pleased that you were able to visit the fair after last year's disappointment. xxx

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    1. I love the fair. It's a little gem - you can really feel how much the owners love their rides and the histories of each. Even their lorries and showmen's caravans are vintage.

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  3. I had no idea our carousels go counter-clockwise. Ah well, if we needed a metaphor for life in the U.S. ...

    Excellent photo of you.

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    1. It surprised me that there were such differences. (I tend to refer to the Gallopers as a carousel anyhow.)

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  4. Love that photo of you on the Gallopers! The perfect occasion to wear the space cats dress, obviously! xxx

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    1. Space cats only show their whiskers for fun times.

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  5. What a beautiful shot of you, Mim. You look like you are having so much fun. I love carousel horses/gallopers. Never knew that there was a difference between the two. The artwork on those ones is utterly gorgeous. Your space cats dress is fabulous and very fitting for such a fun day out. Xx

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    1. I was staring around constantly, admiring all the paintings and decorations. You can tell how much the owners love it.

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  6. I always go on the Gallopers too!

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  7. Lovely photo of you - you look deliriously happy!

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    1. It was so nice to do something for a change. I've been very boring lately.

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  8. I think some of the rides are at the St Giles fair in Oxford. I always go on the gallopers if I am in town for the fair, it often falls when we are in Bournemouth though :(

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    1. It's not on their calendar, though they do have Basingstoke listed - that's down your way, isn't it?

      I'm wearing that lovely cameo brooch today; the black background means it stands out on my Heyday dress where other brooches get lost.

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