All the fun of the fair

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - What's On - - EVENTS -

We all love vin­tage funfair rides. But do you know their his­tory..?

Chair-o-planes: A fly­ing carousel of chairs, it pre­miered in Ger­many in 1972. Fly high with the sites of the dock­yard sky­line in view.

Fer­ris Wheel: If you want a slower paced ride to catch the sites from above, the Fer­ris Wheel is the place to be. Sim­i­lar rides were doc­u­mented as early as the 17th cen­tury, but the orig­i­nal Fer­ris Wheel opened in Chicago in 1893, try­ing to ri­val the Eif­fel Tower.

Gal­lop­ers: Most com­monly known as the carousel, this vin­tage ride emerged from early joust­ing tra­di­tions where knights would gal­lop in a cir­cle while toss­ing balls from one to an­other. By the 18th cen­tury, the carousel we now know had taken shape and by the mid 19th cen­tury, it was a firm favourite at fairs.

Hel­ter Skel­ter: A fun tower with a slide wrapped around it, it was first seen at Black­pool Plea­sure Beach in 1906. The name comes from an older ad­verb mean­ing “in con­fused, dis­or­derly haste”, and you may well be in a dizzy state af­ter a ride on this.

Swing Boats: This ride is one of the ear­li­est fair­ground rides. Orig­i­nally pow­ered by hand, steam­driven ver­sions were later in­tro­duced in the 1880s.

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