Tag Archives: Fair

Mini funfair on the heath

Mini funfair on Blackheath
UPDATE: This is an old post – for info about the funfair at the end of August 2010, go here!

There’s a fun fair on the Heath! It’s only a small one, and they’re still setting up as I write this, but it looks like a nice manageable size, not like some of the massive sprawling fairs over on the Greenwich end of the Heath. Definitely aimed at younger kids, there’s a mini helter-skelter, a merry go round, lots of inflatables, a bungee trampoline, a big wheel, as well as dodgems (as used by non-specific Royalty, see photo below) and other arcade-type attractions along the back row of the fair for adults/older kids.

It’s open from 12-9pm today, and 2-8pm on Sunday.

Mini funfair on Blackheath

Here’s a Google map showing a GPS trace around the perimeter, and a few rides nearby:

(PS: Thanks to Mrs Bugle for looking after the blog during my trip away!)

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Photos from Blackheath Funfair 2009

Blackheath Funfair 2009 by R.I.Pienaar

“The gigantic machines of cheap jouissance that towered in the heath’s vast expanse, swinging screaming youth back and forth”

A great set of photos here by Flickr user R.I.Pienaar

Another set from last year here.

And the quote from the previously mentioned nastybrutalistandshort article – although I’m not sure exactly what jouissance is, and neither is Firefox…

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More photos from the Bike and Kite Festival 2009


If you didn’t manage to go to the Bike and Kite festival on Saturday, then try and go on Sunday. It was really something special, as the video above by YouTube user Jadepike4 demonstrates.

There are always two distinct camps of kite fliers: The model fliers, like inverse puppeteers with their enormous hovering cats, people and teddy bears looming over us. And the stunt fliers, flinging their synchronised kites through the air. I wonder whether the two tribes get along. Do the stunt fliers look down on the modellers as tacky and gauche? Do the modellers think of the stunt fliers as showy and macho? Or maybe not. Maybe they’re just happy to be up in the air.

Here’s an idea for next year – one up from the flying cats (great though they were). In the 16th Century, the Chinese invented a man-lifting kite. This would draw in the crowds next year! Okay, it may be a little dangerous, but could be very exciting too… Perhaps I’ll volunteer to get hoisted up. Makes a change from attaching an old Nokia to a kite.

Click on the Keep Reading link below to view my hundreds of photos – apologies for the dodgy quality, there are far better ones inside the Flickr Blackheath collection.

UPDATE: This post has been modified from the original – please see the comments for details.
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Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2009

kite-clouds

So the next Bike and Kite Festival is nearly upon us!  It’s one of the best things about Blackheath – it’s free and it really shows off the heath in the loveliest way possible.  Try and come along if you can – it is on Saturday 13th – Sunday 14th June according to Lewisham Council’s website.  Leave your car at home, as there won’t be any parking.  There’s a detailed page on The Kite Society’s website explaining who will be flying what, as well as a nice set of photos from last year.

Photos from last year’s event can be seen here.  And just to remind you, here’s a video from my terrible old camera phone showing one of the displays:

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Blackheath Circus

The big top at the circus in Blackheath by Flickr user pic fix

Wonderful photo of the Big Top at the Blackheath Circus, as of last year… I can’t find any really nice creative-commons photos of this year’s circus otherwise I’d add them.  There’s this one, but it’s copyrighted.  If you aren’t scared of clowns, then the current circus is on until 14th April – see their site for more info.  Although it seems wrong that they have a website, unless the server is running inside a wooden caravan powered by an elephant on a treadmill… Which I don’t think they encourage these days.

Photo by Flickr user pic fix

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Photos from the Blackheath Funfair

Blackheath Funfair fairground ride by Emma Webb

Flickr user Emma Webb has posted some fantastic pictures of various fairground rides on the heath.

The funfair (near the Greenwich end of the heath) finished on Monday (I think?), so if you fancied eating too much candy floss, and feeling a bit ill on the Waltzer, you’ll have to make do with the photos…

It certainly looks more impressive in the dark than it did in the drizzle.

Blackheath Funfair fairground ride by Emma Webb

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All the fun of the Blackheath Fair

Blackheath Fun Fair setting up
UPDATE: For info on the 2011 Blakcheath Fun Fair, go here.
I was wondering why so many people were coming to my site Googling “Blackheath Funfair”, until Mrs Bugle pointed out that the fair is currently setting up on the Greenwich end of the heath.

Blackheath Fair Freak Out Ride

So I wandered up there in the pouring rain to take a look.  There’s a good reason it was called Bleak Heath – when the wind and the rain are buffeting you around, it really is quite barren up there.

Anyway, I got there in the end, and it was totally deserted. There’s something about funfairs – they seem like the last vestiges of something unsafe, ungoverned and risky left in our safe little lives – like a kind of in-between space locked somewhere between the 19th and 21st centuries…  Maybe a sort of “liminal zone”, with some similarities to how Kate Fox describes UK pubs in the brilliant book Watching The English

Although the pub is very much part of English culture, it also has its own “social micro-climate”.  Like all drinking places, it is in some respects ‘liminal zone’ an equivocal, marginal, borderline state, in which one finds a degree of “cultural remission” – a structured, temporary relaxation or suspension of normal social controls (also known as “legitimised deviance” or “time-out behaviour”).

Blackheath Fair Terminator Ride

What a lovely book… Anyway,  I eventually found someone to speak to, and asked them when the fairground will be opening.  The answer: “Tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday”.  In other words, the fair on the heath will be open from Thursday 21st – Monday 25th August 2008.

Further reading:  The Phantom has a great piece about the Greenwich Fair here.  Fewer Dodgems and more tumbling.

If you are going to Blackheath Fair, for god’s sake, watch out for Spring Heeled Jack, particularly if you’re called Polly, and you’ve had one too many shandies…

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