Just some of the rides available:

Funfairs in Victorian Times

The Victorian and Edwardian era was a time of great innovation in Britain as the results of the Industrial Revolution were put into the creation of items that improved the quality of life. This was also a period in which the public started to gain a desire for popular entertainment. The Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park was perhaps the iconic event of such an approach, but the Victorian age saw the growth of the Great Showman and the quality touring fairs and circuses.

Up to Victorian times the fairs that travelled the country were largely loose collections of side shows, attractions and amusements. At Charter Fairs around the country, many of which dated back hundreds of years, large numbers of such entertainments would come together for large often rowdy gatherings. However the improvements in transport links built to move industrial products out of the thriving factories and also to move in the raw materials from around the Empire plus these new centres of population encouraged enterprising Showmen to bring large festivals to towns in which they had not been seen before.

These improvements in transport plus the newly developed mechanised and steam driven rides such as the Carousel Horses, Waveswingers and Revolving Chairs became very popular and the rides and attractions replaced the previous “Freak Shows” and entertainers that had been found before. This was not to the taste of everyone and the Newbury Chronicles record an article in the local press in the 1870s that bemoans the new-fangled roundabouts and slides that had replaced the wonderful weird characters they found before!

The introduction of the traditional Steam Driven Engines that could take attractions around Britain from the turn of the 20th Century then added to the range and scope of the Travelling Fair and led to the pattern of work still found. The First World War saw many of these Traction Engines taken into War Service and in the 1920s they were largely replaced by the Petrol Driven transport vehicles that were becoming more common and more economical.

We can recreate for you the feel and enjoyment of the Edwardian and Victorian Fairs with our wide range of traditional funfair rides for hire, as well as Victorian attractions and entertainment. We cannot provide a fully authentic Victorian Fun Fair because much of what you would have found would now be illegal, and most would certainly be considered immoral, but we can recreate the innocent fun for a new audience.