Thursday, 23 August 2012

Carter's Steam Fair

Its just sand, nothing else
Today we thought we would take the kids to see the sand sculptures at Weston-Super-Mare (so that when we next come to build a sandcastle they will be mightily disappointed). This happens every year in WSM and is well worth a look if you are nearby; the sculptures are very impressive. Unfortunately, last night vandals got in to the enclosure so several of the sculptures were badly damaged; the Queen was missing her head as were a few of the others. Its such a shame some people can't respect the time the artists have put into making them. The artists are working to fix them.

After the obligatory donkey rides and a walk on the newly refurbished pier (following a massive fire), we stumbled across Carter's Steam Fair which is visiting Weston at the moment. It was the highlight of the trip for all the family. The rides were beautiful, my personal favourite was a proper carousel which had been working for over 100 years; that one was steam powered but there was also a miniature hand-cranked one for the little kids, it must have been as beautifully maintained inside as it was outside because the operator hardly had to put in any effort to spin the kids round.
The kids mini carousel

They had a good range of rides - a couple of big scary ones for the grown-ups (but not me) and lots that the kids really enjoyed. My children liked the car-driving ride best and we enjoyed watching them because we could appreciate just how beautiful the details were. I loved watching the swinging ships because we got a really good view of the steam engine running it. Each ride was about £1.50-£2, but they were very generous in the amount of time they ran for. I wasn't timing it, but whilst the kids were on the mini carousel 2 songs came and went on the jukebox. 

The whole thing was like going back in time; they had a coconut shy and a test-your-strength machine, even the support vehicles like the ice cream van and caravans were from another era. I really don't understand how such a wonderful atmosphere of an old fashioned fair like this was somehow the pre-cursor to the noise of the amusement arcade on the pier.

Carter's Steam Fair are moving around all over the country; their diary dates are here. I urge you to have a look and see if they are going to be nearby.


  1. Glad you had a great time. I'm from Weston (its good to hear of a fellow blogger nearby).
    My kids love it when carters steam fair comes to town. It's become a fab new family tradition to spend a sunny summers day down there.

    1. I'm following Carter's steam fair on twitter now, so I can hear where they are going to be next

  2. We love going to Weston. What a shame about the sand sculptures though

    1. I read today that they have been fixed and that they have had lots of visitors coming to watch the artists working. Shame they had to do it though

  3. I absolutely LOVE those rides. Proper vintage fun. I'd love some old postcards or pictures of those, to use as an inspiration for decorating my toddler's room when we eventually move house. Utterly stunning. x


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