Autumn fair returns with a mix of new and vintage family fun

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Belper’s annual autumn fair returns this week, bringing with it a ride never before seen in the town as well as all the old favourites.

The fair will pitch up from Thursday to Saturday, October 27-29, opening at 6pm weekdays and 2pm on Saturday.

The fair is bigger and better than ever with the return of many old favourites, including the Matterhorn, Extreme and the returning Rotor which sticks riders to the wall as it spins at high speed.

Joining them for the first time will be the Super Spin,a modern ride which takes the riders high into the air and spins them around.

Mayor of Belper, Councillor Gary Spendlove, will open the event by cutting a specially-made cake, celebrating the history of Proctor’s Dodgems.

Fairground historian Neil Calladine said: “In 1946 the slow recovery to normal after the war had begun, and it was the first time the Coppice ground at Belper was clear and available to hold fairs again after being used to store engines for Rolls-Royce.

“Albert Proctor, sensing the recovery, took the bold step of ordering a brand new dodgem ride from Warwickshire manufacturer Supercar and the track is the one still in use by the family today.”

As part of the celebration, Neil has renovated a 1971 dodgem car which will join the current fleet on the track.

He said: “It is one of only two to survive from that fleet. It has been in my shed for 25 years so it will be wonderful to see it back again where it belongs.”

There will be characters from Paw Patrol and Pedro the Clown on hand to entertain the children, plus fireworks, the Pony Express, Race-O-Rama, the Twist, Jump and Smile, Roll Over Miami, the waltzer, games and everyone’s favourite fairground foods.

As ever, the annual fairground art and model show returns to No 28 on the Market Place.

Open from 11am to 5pm, there is a display of working fairground models exhibited by fairground enthusiasts from as far away as Leeds and Oxford plus artwork by many fairground painters, and detailed history of the dodgems.

Admission is free and visitors can relax away from the excitement with tea and cakes in the No 28 café.