I first read about Carter's Steam Fair on the Yours Truly blog a couple of months ago and it looked so delightful that I went straight onto their website to check if and when they'd be visiting Bath. I put in in my diary, then finally, this weekend, I got to go!
They only have vintage rides - 19th century to 1960s - and as you can imagine, they are all completely gorgeous:
Not sure about this pig...
The whole park was filled with the sound of pipe-organ music, accompanied by a little mechanical conductor:
The Carter family even get to travel in style:
There was a big crowd around this amazing working steam engine (I was pleased I got to sneak in at least one decent photo):
We had tremendous fun on the Rock 'n' Roll Dodgems, got all giddy on the Paramount Chair-o-Plane, and displayed our manly prowess on the Mighty Strikers, but my favourite part was the penny arcade. The Carter family had been collecting antique penny slot machines for years as a hobby before they developed the rest of the fair, and they have the most wonderful collection. As with many arcades, you had to buy tokens to put into the machines, but the 'tokens' at Carters are actual old pennies! We kept one of ours because it was from 1918.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
There were, of course, a couple of creepy old ones, Old Betsy here being one of them (but she reminded us all of Tom Hanks' finest hour in Big, so we put a penny in anyway!)
Maybe it's because I grew up by the seaside and we frequently holidayed on the Isle of Wight, but I absolutely love fairs and arcades. How about you? If you're in the UK you should definitely look up when Carters Steam Fair is heading your way, it was a fun afternoon/evening and just that little bit nicer than a normal travelling fair. And the doughnuts were sensational ;)