Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Summer memories of the Fair.



Yesterday I had a little flashback to a time in my teens, every summer without fail, during the six week school holidays, a travelling fair would descend upon a local playing field near to the town centre. Because the town I grew up in was very small there wasn't much to do at all. Actually there was NOTHING to do. No youth clubs (there had been one at school, I am not quite sure what happened to it actually but I am pretty sure it closed) No activity centres such as Rollercity, nothing, narta, zip. So, when this fair arrived in town, EVERYONE went.


For those three weeks the time after school had REAL meaning. You didn't just walk home from school, you marched! Straight upstairs you went to get changed as quickly as possible so you could meet your friends at the local cafe or chippy for some food and then go on to the fair. If you had to stay and have dinner at home beforehand then your life was over! Especially as this was before you had a mobile phone to communicate with. You couldn't text and say you were running late, you had to hope your friends had waited and not got too eager and gone off without you.


Sitting in town you could always hear when the fair had kicked off. You could hear it from my house actually too, so on those nights I hadn't been able to go for what ever reason I would sit in my room doing whatever and listening to a man's voice on a mic trying to coax people into playing one of stalls while music boomed out through the speakers (Whitney Houstons 'Its not right, it's okay' springs to mind so I am guessing that is one of the songs I remember hearing one year). Once you could hear the music had started whilst up the town however, you would hurry your slowest friend into finishing their food or drink so you could get over there and start your night.

You would see so many people from school over there too and seeing people after school was always so much different to seeing them in school. It's the same even today when you go to a work do. Seeing your colleagues after hours, in their 'normal' clothes always feels a bit strange at first to me!



The smell of the burger vans and the candy floss circled around you and the noise of all the different rides, machines and music would all merge into one melody, filling the air. Some kids would have managed to pinch a can of beer from their Dads collection and would be proudly supping away at it as they walked up and down the amusements. The fair was the perfect time to get to know your crush a bit more too so the girls would have picked out the perfect outfit to wear (and no doubt thought about it all day). It being the 90's the perfect outfit would probably consist of either pedal pushers or combats, a bright halter neck top, platform trainers, butterfly hair clips, coffee shimmer lippy and white eyeliner.


Ah, the fair. I loved the waltzer and a ride that span really quickly so you stuck to the wall. I remember going on the waltzer one year and when I got off a girl from  a couple of years above me gave me back my purse saying it had flung out of my coat pocket and when I opened it all my money was gone. I also remember another ride that seated you all in a line and you kind went up and around in a circle, clockwise and then anti - clockwise and once I got off of that ride I found my eyeliner and mascara on the floor having been flung from my puffa jacket pocket. Needless to say after that second incident I learnt my lesson.


Funny thing nostalgia isn't it? A certain smell, song or scene can just trigger off this indescribable feeling in the pit of your stomach which then makes your heart swell with happiness.


I still absolutely love going to a fair still whether it is Alton Towers or Adventure Island on Southend Sea front and that is all because of my teen memories of the summer fair with my friends.


I remember the last time I ever went too. I was about 18 and me and a group of friends thought it would be a good laugh to go and play on the dodgems. That's all we did and then we left and went to the pub. It was kind of like when your favourite sitcom came back for a one off special after years away and it just wasn't the same. You know what I mean? There were no familiar faces only kids with their mates in the same position I had been five years previously, all dressed up, trying to impress their mates.


Luckily I expected it to be like that.

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