Timeless fun of the fairground

There’s nothing like a fair at night.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th October 2013, 7:00 pm

The lights, sounds and smells all seem muffled in the autumn air, giving a greater sense of excitement, an air of trepidation and a hint of danger.

Of course, there was a time when you only saw fairgrounds at night, either the travelling sort on wastelands or the likes of Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach on the annual pilgrimage after a day spent walking past endless bags of potential buys ... but with your dad never parting with cash.

It was more the Smiths’ Rusholme Ruffians – ‘and the grease in the hair of a speedway operator’ – than the brochure pics of Disneyland basking in Orlando’s sunshine.

So hail BPB for opening late this autumn.

Yes, it might have followed the path of wristbands, with ride attendants wearing corporate uniforms, and that sense of danger from lurking urchins by the Mouse might be long gone.

But it is still wonderful to watch as your five-year-old gazes upwards in wonder at those flashing neon-lined megaframes structured purely for fun.

And while you’re mooching, what you will notice among all the twisting modern white-knucklers is that the spirit of the park remains, albeit cleaner and tidier.

Four of the park’s 10 rollercoasters date back to the 30s, the River Caves to 1905, the Flying Machines to 1904, and Alice’s Winderland to the 1960s.

And, trust me, these old clunky and wooden rides still have the ability to put your child into blissful sleep on the back seat on the way home.

The late openings run until November 2, covering Saturdays and half-term.

Alan Burrows