Ilkeston - Folk At The Fair
w/e 21 October 2007 All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
For the majority of people in Ilkeston, mid-October means only
one thing - it's time for the Annual Charter Fair and this year
is the 755th anniversary of the event. It has obviously changed
a great deal since the charter was first granted in 1252 but
today is still steeped in tradition. In previous years I have
covered the Fair from almost every conceivable angle including
views from the top of St Mary's Church tower, the upper storey
windows of the Co-Op building and also from ground level. This
year, rather than just picturing some of the rides I decided
to focus on some of the Ilkeston folk at the Fair including these
two council workers who assisted in setting up the bells in readiness
for the official opening at noon on Thursday.
Three more faces working behind the scenes were also on duty
outside the Town Hall before the opening. The faces of the wardens,
traffic, community and neighbourhood, may be well known in Ilkeston
but it is doubtful whether they will ever be as easily recognisable
as the three famous faces of Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly and Bill
Haley on the Big Wheel behind them.
The Fair provides entertainment for four days for the young at
heart of all ages and I shared a joke with these two senior citizens
who I caught riding their Shopmobility scooters through the streets.
They assured me that they were heading for the Dodgems and taking
their own vehicles with them!
The Fair is not just about sideshows, roundabouts and thrill
rides as there are plenty of stalls selling food and drink. Whether
it's roast chestnuts, mushy peas, sweet corn, burgers, hot dogs,
hot or cold beverages or toffee or chocolate covered apples,
the Ilkeston folk found plenty to satisfy their taste buds.
These two ladies were enjoying their sustenance at the foot of
the old fountain where they were also able to take the weight
of their feet as they refuelled before continuing around the
rest of the Fair.
Fine weather for the duration of the Fair brought
the crowds out in great numbers and the younger generation found
just as much fun in the old traditional rides such as the Waltzer
and the Gallopers (as can be seen above) as they did in the more
modern rides like the Booster, Waveswinger, Rotor, Move-It, Tango,
Space Roller and Big Ben that could also be found around the
centre of the town.
The Cakewalk has been coming to Ilkeston Fair for more years
than many people care to remember but it still provides entertainment
and enjoyment in its customary position opposite the Town Hall.
Its traditional organ music is a delight for all but is often
drowned out by the sound of adjacent rides playing the sounds
A feature of the Fair is the loud music that is constantly
played but on Saturday morning before the Fair was in full swing
the sound of the organ on the Cakewalk could be heard all around
the Market Place.
More organ music was being played on Saturday in the grounds
of the Erewash Museum and an old but beautifully maintained steam
engine together with a model fairground display inside the building
also brought enjoyment to the many visitors.
This short video clip shows both the Gaviola Organ and the steam
engine "Renown" at the museum.
And that brings an end to this year's Charter Fair but you can
join as as we leave the Fair by watching this video of a walk
down Bath Street, again captured on Saturday morning just before
lunch. The Fair was not fully open but many of the small roundabouts
were operating as the Ilkeston residents went about their weekend