Tuesday, 10 July 2012

At the Funfair- Vintage Style

As promised after our visit to Devon I got some material from the amazing Dingle Heritage Funfair Centre.  It is one of the most atmospheric (and sometimes slightly creepy!) places I have ever visited.


The problem we had with whatever we did on holiday was finding something which the kids enjoyed as well as us or vice versa!  This was the perfect place for that. History and fun combined, we loved it and would recommend a visit to anyone in that part of the country, and because of the distinctly vintage feel it warranted a post about it here.  The exhibition came in three parts- the museum with historical static rides and exhibits; the transport gallery (to me it felt more like a working shed but still interesting) and the working rides hall (the most fun bit!).


The first thing that assaults you (if you're lucky in the time you arrive!) is the music from the original organ music being played by a volunteer, which truly captures the spirit of the fair.  We were lucky enough for the staff to let us have a play on it as well.  Further on there was also an automated barrel organ and looking inside the the punch-card system which operates it was visible, amazingly it uses the same technology as weavers used to use to create a consistent pattern.

Rodeo Switchback canopy art and detailing
The museum had a fantastic Rodeo Switchback dating back to 1880 which unfortunately was closed to the public that day because of filming for the BBC.  But we did get to enjoy the Super Chariot Racer ride which was built in the 1930s, and has some of the amazing "Jazz" pattern that was popular in that era (source: Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre- see more images here), and we were lucky enough to get a slower ride to suit two small children and a slightly nervous 30 year old!

Super Chariot Racer
The artwork at the museum was so intricate and beautiful it was lovely to know that the heritage Centre was preserving and displaying it.  The centre's philosophy is to pay "silent tribute" to these ordinary people who created outstanding art and would never become household names; personally speaking I think they have more than succeeded in achieving this.

Just one of a huge selection of displayed fairground art in the museum.
There were other rides too- the Super Skid (I was way too scared of this one from childhood experiences at the Great Bentley fair!), the Ghost Train; which dated from the 1940s; as well as the Dodgems (obviously had a go on these).  But they also had stalls and arcade machines to be enjoyed.



A big thank you to Simon who took all the images in the fairground, although to be fair (no pun intended) he enjoys it and is currently in the midst of a fairly intense affair with his SLR camera!  The last picture he took quite sweetly was this fairground advert.  It is fairly unremarkable until he pointed out it was the date of our wedding anniversary... not the year obviously I'm not that old! 


If you are interested in seeing more about the centre visit their website here.  And as a trust based centre it relies heavily on volunteers and donations, to learn more visit this link.

Next post will be the preview dress images coming soon to the shop, and hopefully for those regular shop visitors some new stock will be listed in the next couple of days (it's taking a while to get back into the swing of it!!)

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