Fun at the Fairground

Fun at the Fairground

There is something wildly exciting about funfairs and carnivals. A spirit of fun and adventure that gets the heart racing and leaves children, and even adults, feeling the brave and carefree.

Yet there’s a long and interesting history to fairs, and in particular fairground rides; the very first of which was most likely a dobby set – coarsely made wooden horses set in a carousel and turned by manpower.

Children would often turn these rides for the showmen in exchange for a free ride – which was probably the inspiration for steam-powered rides as there must have been plenty of enthusiasm over whose turn it was to actually ride the carousel.


History shows records of the first public steam-powered ride to have been created by Thomas Bradshaw, who patented the idea in 1863. The Halifax Courier wrote an article about the roundabout when it appeared at the Halifax Fair in the same year saying that it was a “… roundabout of huge proportions, driven by a steam engine which whirled around with such impetuosity that the wonder is the daring riders are not shot off like cannonball and driven half into the middle of next month.”

By the 1920s, electricity was powering the few rides that were created during the war, and one of these was the “Chair-o-Plane” – the original swing carousel. Still one of the most popular rides today, imagine the reactions of people at the time if a steam powered dobby carousel alarmed them only sixty years earlier. “Chair-o-Plane” must have seemed as daring as the world’s largest rollercoaster today.


Given the fact that rollercoasters are becoming ever more exhilarating – or terrifying depending on your level of adrenaline junkie requirements – is it any wonder that thrill seekers are constantly creating new rides?

Currently, the world’s tallest rollercoaster is the Kingda Ka, at 45 storeys and a 121-metre drop. Riding it will mean a trip to New Jersey, and possibly an extra pair of pants for afterwards.

If you prefer speed to height, then you’d probably prefer the Formula Rossa coaster in the United Arab Emirates which currently holds the speed record at 240km/h.


When it comes to fairground rides though, the important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself.

That’s exactly what we want you to do at our Wildrides Amusement fun-fair this holiday. It’s action packed with never-ending fun and gives the whole family great entertainment from morning until late into the night.

And, if your children lose their voices screaming in exhilaration, at least you’ll have blessed peace for the remainder of the school holidays.

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