I haven’t been to a carnival in years, but when we saw that Carters Steam Fair was back in Chalkwell Park this week, we took advantage of the mild weather and headed to Southend to check out the vintage travelling funfair.
The Galloper is similar to and American carousel, but differs in several significant ways. It turns in a clockwise direction, and the wooden horses appear to gallop rather than prance. Each horse is unique, and is named after family and friends. And so, it seems are the vehicles on the Toytown ride for younger visitors.
Every aspect of the funfair is authentic, from the restored lorries that pull the rides from one city to another, to the games and concession stands, to the painstakingly restored and maintained rides themselves.
Accompanying the varying motion of the rides is a musical recording of the original organ that still sits on the Galloper. The fair is a kaleidoscope of light, sound, and smell, with steam from the engines billowing up into the night sky.