Think of a travelling funfair and you usually think of strobe lights and deafening techno music – but the arrival of Carters Steam Fair in Lichfield is a welcome change from the norm.
The vintage rides and old-fashioned sideshows are a fantastic sight in Beacon Park even before you hop on and try the Chair-o-Plane or the Steam Gallopers out for size.
Visitors could easily spend their time looking at the traditional showman’s wagons and vintage vehicles that bring the rides to town, but most will head straight for the rides.
However, if you’re heading down to Beacon Park, do make sure you take some time to examine all of the hand-painted signwriting on offer – it’s like an outdoor art exhibition in itself.
For many though, the real fun of the fair is always the rides.
There might not be as many big thrills and spills as you might find with the modern-day funfair, but there’s no less enjoyment on offer for all ages.
The make-up of this iteration of the Carters fair is definitely aimed at younger riders, with children of various ages hopping aboard smaller rides such as the Jets, the Ark or the Steam Gallopers (complete with overhead exhaust powering the horses).
Older visitors were also able to get their fix of fun with the brilliant Lightning Skid.
Think waltzer cars that you don’t need someone to walk around and spin – simply press the pedal and you’ll send the car flying as the ride spins around.
It’s high octane fun dating back to the 1960s that had many people going on time and time again.
There were also plenty of sideshows on offer, including traditional favourites like hook-a-duck, coconut shy and test your strength (with more than a few of Lichfield’s strongmen trying their best to ring the bell on the day we visited).
There’s a real charm about the vintage funfair, whether it’s marvelling at the old-school rides still putting smiles on faces so many years after they were built or being fascinated by the many vintage vehicles dotted around the site.
It’s definitely worth heading down to Beacon Park before the rides pack up and leave for another year. The fair is in Lichfield until 1st August.
For more details and to buy tokens visit the Carters Steam Fair website.