Author Topic: funfairs  (Read 2432 times)

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Offline oldtar

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funfairs
« on: 12 July, 2010, 09:13:48 PM »
Can anyone remember the travelling funfairs of the 50s and 60s that came twice a year to Beckton Road park and Wansted Flats? John Biddles funfair came often. They were large funfairs with boxing booths, ghost trains, bumper cars and lots of stalls; great places for wild young kids to roam free. And with loud rock and roll records blazing away, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Chuck Berry etc. Liverpool claims their clubs were the first to hear American rock, but we heard them just as quick through the funfairs of the East End.

Offline REID-A2

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Re: funfairs
« Reply #1 on: 13 July, 2010, 10:50:11 AM »
Hi Oldtar
Yes i do remember the fairs at Becton Road park and Wanstead Flats,we used to watch the boxing i think the winner won ten bob.one of the contenders was from Fairbane house B.C.who we shouted for he was a regular contender.
A.REID

Offline MickG

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Re: funfairs
« Reply #2 on: 13 July, 2010, 11:46:19 AM »
The mention of the fair on Wanstead Flats conjures up aromatic memories. The air was heavily laden with a mixture of smells including diesel from the generators, candy floss and ozone from the dodgem cars. The boxing booth always seemed to have a clean fighter that the crowd always supported and a dirty fighter who always won. After the match the owner of the booth always called out to the crowd before they left if they thought the losing clean fighter should be given another chance. The crowd always agreed..... for a fee of course.

If I close my eyes, I can even recall the mixture of sounds. Screams of terrified delight coming from the various rides, the constant pinging from the air rifle stalls, the occasional clang of the bell being rung by a local Mr Muscles with a big hammer. All of this was set to a background of fair organ music that seemed to be everywhere. The screams from inside the ghost train did not always come from the "ghosts". Often they came from local lads who would accompany groups of girls to "protect" them.

Mick

Offline GeoffM

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Re: funfairs
« Reply #3 on: 13 July, 2010, 05:19:47 PM »
There used to be a small fair that pitched up on the debris behind Home & Colonial Rathbone St just near Maud St in the late 50's early 60's among the rides was the Waltzer run by Joe Manning myself and 2 friends used to go there quite a lot and got to know the owner Joe and started helping out taking fares etc. we then started to follow him onto his next sites which used to be anywhere from Old St, Debden, Shenfield,Jaywick & Raphaels Park Romford where I remember that it got so busy that the fare which may have been about a shilling went up to half a crown. One night when we were in Old Street we worked so late that we missed our last bus home and the 3 of us spent the night sleeping in a Waltzer each with the cover over it, not the most comfortable night by any means. We felt like Jack the Lads standing in the middle of the Waltzer and spinning the cars to make the girls scream but I got a bit over confident on one occassion and swung on the back of the car unfortunately it went down the dip at the same time as the next car and I got knocked off and was flung onto the grating amongst the people waiting to get on needless to say I suffered a few bruises the worst one was to my ego!!. The song that sticks in my mind most was Dream Lover by Bobby Darin which was released in 1959 and reminds me of working on the Waltzer in Debden......Happy Days!!



GeoffM

Offline ALANF

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Re: funfairs
« Reply #4 on: 16 July, 2010, 06:26:27 PM »
I well remember the funfair that set up in Beckton Park every year. That was a big event every year for us kids. As soon as the word went round that the fair had arrived, it seemed that every kid for miles around made their way to the park to watch the rides and stalls being assembled. The first night was simply a land of magic for us kids, the bright lights and thumping music was an experience never to be forgotten. As we got older, then we began to take notice of the music, which was the days of early rock and roll.  What a treat it was to listen to Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Elvis played so loud you could not hold a conversation anywhere near the speakers. I remember the boxing booth where the local lads who challenged usually received a good thumping. I have said all these things on a previous posting about the fair, as did many other contributers. I would like to mention again, how on either side of 1950, the fair would have a firework display on the last night, and as an added attraction 'One legged' Pelly would set himself on fire and dive from a 70 foot tower into a tank of water. Again this has been covered on the site before, but this event caused more screams than the 'Whip' or Big Wheel ever did!

Alan
« Last Edit: 16 July, 2010, 06:28:48 PM by ALANF »

Offline lewisjoiner

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Re: funfairs
« Reply #5 on: 19 July, 2010, 03:15:40 PM »
Hi All,
I remember the tent called "Eve without leaves", trouble was we were too young to get in, I never did find out what or was not under the leaves. Oh and apple and banana fritters. The rest you have mentioned. Great times! Regards, Lewis

Offline Squiggywigg

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Re: funfairs
« Reply #6 on: 29 July, 2010, 08:34:56 AM »
The only time I ever went to the fair at Beckton Park was the night that Elvis died: I was 15 it was the summer holidays and went with my pal Moira.  By the time we left the fair, there was torrential rain, the park gates were locked and we had to climb out.  Moira got over first with no trouble.  I, however, got me shoe stuck in the fence so Moira climbed back to retrieve it.  Unfortunately, when she jumped down she caught her beloved Levi's skirt which then ripped - oh dear!

We trudged back up to Barking Road to get the bus to East Ham.  Absolutely saturated while watching the 10 pm news, it was announced that Elvis was dead - 16 August 1977.