Familiar Strangers

Familiar Strangers VI

To those close to me and friends in the know, Loughborough fair is the stuff of legend. As winter approached last year the stories started to flow about the spectacle and size of the multicoloured thrill rides and sugary treats that made being a child in Loughborough so very worth while.

With these stories going through my mind I ventured out to find out for myself. Will the lights be as bright as I had been told? Will the rides carry on forever with, every corner revealing a different way of spinning you round or turning you upside down?

Familiar Strangers V

Familiar Strangers IV

I admit it, Loughborough fair is legendary. It did seem to go on forever or at least further than I expected. It wasn’t the fair that really interested me however it was the people who worked there. In the end I went to the fair two nights in a row. The first night was a Thursday, the fair had just come to the town and it was fairly quite. The boredom was evident. The people behind the candy floss and tungsten glow did this day in day out and its wasn’t surprising that they were bored.

Familiar Strangers III

Familiar Strangers II

Friday night was different, people pushed through the streets between the rides. Some of the fairground workers clearly enjoy their jobs. Enjoy the noise of the crowd and the brief conversations. It occurred to me then that it isn’t just the fairground that is familiar to the ticket sellers, chestnut roasters and hook the duck callers. They also know the town just as well.

How many times had they pitched there stalls and rides in the market square? Did they recognise the families that returned every year? One year older but never too old to enjoy themselves. Familiar strangers both.

Familiar Strangers I

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