All the fear of the fair

Bonnie and Billy fearless at the fair

AS parents living at the less salubrious end of Northampton’s Racecourse, several times a year we have to run the gauntlet of ‘The Fair.’

With all its bright lights, noise and smells, it gets our offspring in a frenzy when we unavoidably drive, walk or cycle past. It may say ‘only £1 a ride’, but that soon racks up when you have four kids.

When I was a kid the fair only came to town once a year. So excited were the people of Great Torrington in Devon that they saved up for it. They bought new outfits for it. And everyone secretly worried that their teenage daughter would run off with the bloke on the waltzers.

The fair was considered edgy and unpredictable – dangerous on more than one level.

Not these days. You can diary in the appearance of Northampton’s familiar family-run fair around the bank holidays. The danger comes not from the rides but from the mobile phones flying out of pockets.

Do you remember not being scared of fairground rides? When does the fear take over the fun? Is it when your wallet pocket starts to hurt?

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