02 July 2009

Falling for London: Relivin' Grandma's yesterday.

the next best thing to a time machine is a trip to carters steam fair. i've been looking forward to carters comin' back to clissold park since i spent a magical saturday nite there last summer. this weekend, the caravans and candy floss were back in town. and the mass hail storm wasn't gonna stop me getting there.
after the big storm on saturday, i crossed all digits for sunday sunshine. it wasn't quite sunny but hey! the clouds bit their tongues and i gleefully donned my 40s carnation dress for the second day in a row (!). the candy floss was my trophy.
all the rides and booths and attractions at carters have been restored to their original colour and design, and as soon as you see those caravans lined up you know you're entering another world and time. a world of tutti fruity, fortune tellers, halls of mirrors and high-speed swings. a time when you could take it easy and have a bit of innocent fun!
they say it best: 'Carters Steam Fair travels around London and the South East, for seven months of the year. The other five months are spent in a frenzy of restoration, painting and repairing. Some of the family have even been known to wander into the shed on Christmas Day just to finish some work off!!! Carters is the result of John Carter's passion for collecting old and interesting items, discarded by the owners, as being too unfashionable or too derelict to preserve. Over the last thirty years a whole funfair has been collected, complete with historic vehicles to transport it from site to site, with vintage living vans to complement the show. Jonathan Ross described us "as more like a film set than a travelling fair". Unfortunately we lost John to cancer at the untimely age of 58 in the year 2000. The fair still goes from strength to strength, with a growing number of loyal supporters. We continue to add to the collection. In the last few years we have added the Victory Dive Bomber along with various other stalls and attractions. The latest big project was Teddy Andrews' Ark, packed away since the early 1980's. All 500 pieces had extensive works in preparation for the 2006 season. We are very thrilled to have custody of this machine and grateful to the Andrews family for entrusting us to take care of it.'
the dodgems - with their angels of rock-n-roll cars - were once again a squeal-inducing hi-lite, but this time around the arcade was tuggin' at my heartstrings some kinda fierce.
all the machines are original and you give your pound coins in to get 'old pennies' with the carter horse on them. my favourite machines are the ones which give you a lil' souvenir. i had my fortune told, got a picture of my 'future husband' and received a love letter from the 'matrimonial bureau' and even had an x-ray done! you can see my x-ray with my husband below haha. i'm so in love with carters that a date at the fair could easily seal the deal!
i can't say enough good things about carters or show enough photos it seems! i'm tempted to follow them around (or hop in one of the caravans!) for the rest of the summer. for now i'll just hold onto the buzz i've got for as long as i can.
i hope there is a carters-style fair where you are, it's an experience no one should miss.


Q's Daydream said...

Just wonderful! That dress is a dream! :o)

april said...

Oh my god! That looks amazing! It's so great that something like this even exists!

Hannah said...

..'the result of John Carter's passion for collecting old and interesting items'.. ended up in a whole funfair being collected. That is so cool! It sounds amazing. Unfortunately the only fun fair I know of near me occurs once a year and is well known for people getting stolen from and even attacked.. not to mention all the rides have really vulgar paintings on them. I'll probably go anyway ha. You look amazing too, I bet your outfit looked great against a background of vintage rides and amusements.

Eyeliah SS said...

This fair has such a vintage feel, like some of these photos (especially with your hair and dress) could be from 60 years ago. Lovely. :-)

5:32 in the morning said...

That really looks like fun, plus, your hair looks fantastic.

love_again said...

Oh I wish we had fun fairs where I live, they look so..fun! Love the caravan photos.

jessica said...

thanks so much to all of you. some of the fairs back home (n.c.) have metal detectors now...which can kill your buzz pretty quick. i've not been to one like this anywhere else. i hope they will consider a world-wide tour!

Dsata said...

Such a lovely dress !

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