In addition to the old industries and working life displayed at the Black Country Museum there is also a traditional funfair. The swingboats brought back fond memories of Sunday afternoon walks up the Wrekin. Sorry no pictures of those, too many children on board (might get arrested). I just loved the contrast of the colourful Helter-Skelter against the sky.
Fairgrounds were as much a part of Black Country life as rolling mills, mines and trams. The collection of rides and amusements at the Museum accurately portray the Black Country travelling fairs of the first decades of the last century.
The small traditional fairground might have been operated by one of the many well-known travelling families who were based in the region.
The round stalls, swings, mirrors and coconut sheet are all authentic examples which would have been set up by fairground proprietors when the fair came to town for a few days.
Dating from around 1910, the Brooklyn Cakewalk is one of the few remaining in use, and along with the Swingboats and Helter-Skelter creates a really nostalgic experience.
The Ark was the latest thing in high-speed rides when introduced in the 1920s and the magnificent paintwork and silent running of the 1930’s Lakin built four lift Speedway Ark make a superb centrepiece to the historic fairground.
Since its creation in 1983, the ‘Old Tyme’ fair at the Black Country Living Museum has been operated by the third and fourth generation of the famous Jones family of Cradley Heath who started travelling with the fairs in the early 1900s.