Not everyone hopes for a dull day on a bank holiday, but I did after hearing about Dingles Fairground Museum. It’s an indoor venue, so not the best place to go on sunny days. My wish came true. It was overcast, so Mr Word Loft and I set off with our daughter and grandson to Milford Lifton, Devon.

We booked in for the 2.00 pm session, and when the doors opened, the atmosphere of the historical attractions was abundant. Our grandson beamed, as the relics and sounds of fairs from the 19th century to the 1960s met us. It seems the excitement and anticipation for the thrills I felt as a child still work for youngsters today.

The rides began at 2.30 pm, so we ambled around the travelling section of vintage living wagons, lorries, and engines used for transporting and powering the machinery. As the music became louder, we charged around behind our grandson who was deciding what ride to go on first. Some tokens are included in the ticket price, but Mr Word Loft and I opted to take photographs of mother and son having fun. It turns out that our grandson is a dangerous driver when it comes to Dodgems, but I expect there have been much worse seeing as it was the largest track to travel throughout Britain in its heyday.

The Moonrocket, from the 1930s, was the favourite ride. Accompanied by the operator’s commentary, the space capsules occupants’ exhilaration was heightened as he sped things up. No good at all for those suffering from motion sickness. All of my snaps turned out blurred too, and I’m not surprised.

“Don’t scream,” I joked as the carriage pulled through the swing doors of the ghost train. There was lots of wailing and groaning from spooks and skeletons inside, but not as loud as the people screaming. Their faces were so amusing as they came back into view.

The Victory Gallopers were much more sedate as the carousel horses moved up and down as they rode around. Each animal painted uniquely, and like most of the artwork and signage around, beautiful. It’s a shame the artists, designers and craftsmen aren’t recognised more for their skills and talent.

After buying candy floss, we enjoyed sideshows and played in the amusement arcade. Nostalgia abounded. Horse racing machines, antique penny slots, and coin pusher games. And these days, the winnings include sweets and small toys that tumble down the chutes as well as coins.

Throughout the afternoon, memories of childhood holidays came to mind. And thanks to the period venue, older and present generations can share and appreciate entertainment from the past together.

Until next time,
Sue. X