*We were kindly gifted some free rides, but we also paid for some ourselves*
Gosh, I feel so lucky that Carters Steam Fair comes to visit our little town every year - we went for the first time last year, you can read about that here, it was a lot sunnier last time which made for prettier pictures - but still, we only had a few light showers yesterday and the kids really enjoyed themselves.
The thing that I love about Carters is that it is vintage in all senses, the music, the rides, the stalls, it is like being transported to a bygone era. The fair opened at noon on Sunday and was soon bustling with people. You can buy tokens there or buy in advance online for better savings, the tokens work out at 50p each, with rides between 4-6 tokens per person.
Our 13 year old daughter, went up on Saturday evening with her friends and took some of her birthday money, she had great fun on the Lightning Skid - which looks like a waltzer but uses a foot peddle to control the motion of it and it doesn't have the bumps that a waltzer has. This ride is from the 1960s - they loved this one.
These rides and side stalls are like something out of the end scenes of Grease, and the music is spot on. This ride particularly reminds me of Grease, the Whirl-A-round Twist! It was built in the 1950s, a great ride, fast and fun.
The dodgems are always a favourite with my lot, the novelty of being able to drive makes them want multiple goes. This is another 1960s original. My son is a little too short to reach the peddle and not tall enough to ride alone (must be over 1.3m to ride alone) so he rode with Daddy and helped steer the car.
It is not a trip to the fair without a ride on The Gallopers! This absolute beaut was built in about 1895, it has been beautifully restored to its former glory. It is wonderful to watch the mechanisms working and see the musical pipes and the steam engine going. A real treat.
Last year the Steam Yachts weren't at the fair in Caterham, so my husband and daughter and her friend decided to have a go. I was slightly surprised that my 7 year old, non-daredevil son, followed them on, so I got on too. These aren't for the faint-hearted! These steam driven yachts are from the 1920s - think Mary Rose style galleon swing boat. These are deceptively high and you are not strapped in, being original rides, you have to lock your arms around the back of the seat which is a bench. I could see the regret in his eyes when the ride started, he was terrified, luckily the lovely man saw his pleas of anguish and stopped the ride so we could get him off. Lesson learnt there!
Fin went on the little train, much more his style. There are plenty of smaller rides for little children to enjoy. He also enjoyed winning a teddy on the hook-a-duck.
The girls went on the Ghost Train, I was told that they were sprayed with water in there and they both really enjoyed it, although I think Shannon had her eyes closed the entire time.
Another of Carters classic rides are the Chair O Planes, this is such a beautiful looking ride, with amazing signage. This ride also dates from the 1920s and is one of the best looking rides I think I have ever seen.
We didn't go on the Swingboats this time, these are beautiful wooden, painted boats and remind me of the seaside, there are smaller ones for the children too.
We ended off our afternoon with some candy floss, because you cannot go to a funfair and not have candy floss, right?!
To find out where Carters are headed next, see below. This enchanting, vintage funfair goes on tour around London and the South East of England throughout the year.