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All The Fun Of The Fair - 20 years Old

Bill Edwards

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Bill Edwards

Dear All


Although I don't have the exact date, I started All The Fun Of The Fair in 1997, so this year it is 20 years old.


The site started as a static page written entirely in HTML. I've found a "Web Archive" from 1999 at https://web.archive.org/web/19991127123329/http://fun-fairs.co.uk:80/



I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart EVERYONE who has contributed to the success of the site over the years - The Administrators & Moderators who work behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly, the members past & present who have contributed words, advise, photos, information etc and the Forum Supporters who, by enabling me to pay the hosting bill, ensure the forum stays free and available for the majority of members.


Although I run the site and the Administrators & Moderators assist, without YOU THE MEMBERS contributing there wouldn't be a site!


Thank You All & Happy Birthday :)


All the best




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Gary Witcomb

Well it come a very long way in 20 years, (i'm glad the flashing lights have gone thou LOL) i was not here at the start, but since i found this site by pure accident it has completely changed my hobby for the better and for that i'm very grateful 


I have meet a lot of like minded people & Showmen from all over the UK, some of which i class as life long friends and it makes meeting up on some damp ground some ware a pleasure


A Happy Birthday & A big thank you, to you Bill for Starting it all, I think our Hobby would still be in the dark ages if you had not started it back in 1997 and as you say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to make this a fantastic resource, log may that continue, it really is the the no 1 place for ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR !!!!


Here's to the next 20 years 

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Paul McHaddan

A very BIG 20th Happy Birthday to "All The Fun Of The Fair Forum" & to you Bill Edwards  i came across this forum by mistake Now i use it everyday Thank you so much!!!!

& thank you to all the Moderators & the Panel :)

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Chris Russell

I wish to add my congratulations to you Bill and, as Gary has said, our hobby has benefitted immensely from this website, from humble beginnings to the fantastic resource it is today. When I first became interested in travelling fairs, nearly 50 years ago, I knew no one else with my interest. A chance attendance of a rally on a hill in Dorset (Stourpaine Bushes) led me to find the World's Fair newspaper which for many years gave me my only information on my interest. Then computers came along and eventually I learnt the meaning of the WWW! In thanking Bill and his team and of course everyone who contributes in anyway to this site I would ask everyone not to take this forum for granted. Just imagine your hobby without it!!

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Dave Wood

Would like to add my congratulations, admiration and respect to you Bill, and the moderators of course on this amazing milestone. Like Chris, it was the chance discovery of Worlds Fair when I was a mere 12 years old that turned my fascination with fairs into a real hobby. Many years later, I read about a new "website" for fairground fans in the paper one week. I didn't know what a "website" was but luckily a partner at the time managed to educate me enough to find and appreciate this incredible resource, and I even got the hang of sending in some of the early fair reports I'm proud to say. Don't manage to contribute many reports these days....the young'uns always seem to get in before me! Here's to the next 20 years, and thanks again Bill.

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Congratulations Bill :D Happy Birthday ATFOTF ;) and Well DONE to everyone whose contributed over all those years to make the site what it is.

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20 years of ATFOTF is a very notable achievement. Personally when I started to search my hobby on the internet as back as 1998, ATFOTF was one of the first sites which I found. Here we have a website come message board which started long before the advent of social networking and continues to hold its own against it.


Congratulations Bill and the team.

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Simon Deery

Congratulations to Bill and all those who work so hard behind the scenes to keep the site moving forward. I first discovered the site much the same as Martin in 1998 when we had our new computer rooms open at my school. There were many a lunch break and odd hour after lessons spent looking through the ride photos.

Personally not being a fan of the social networking sites I find this to be a great resource and I have met some fantastic enthusiasts on here.

Twenty years is a long time and I guess a reminder that nothing should be taken for granted as I cannot imagine the tireless admin work which must go on daily to keep the site running. There are no other sites like this and long may it stay that way.

Thank you Bill. Happy 20th and here is to the next 20 years!

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Rob Brown

Many congratulations to Bill and the team!  I discovered the site around 98/99 and was hooked immediately.  The hard work that goes into running a site like this needs to be recognised and is really appreciated.  I will try to continue with my own small contribution.  Thanks once again. 


Kind regards.


Rob :)

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Graham Nicoll

Whilst I have loved travelling fairs for as long as I can remember, it wasn't until the early noughties that I considered myself an ''enthusiast'' having learned that there were others with a similar interest.  I had seen the ATFOTF website on occasional visits to my local library, where one could log-in for an hour at a time...that was never long enough, so I decided to acquire a PC at home, and that's when The Forum became such an important resource as I sought to expand my growing passion for Travelling fairs around the UK.  From around 2005 onwards I really embraced the hobby, and began venturing to other towns & cities to see and photograph the attractions and transport of different showmen.  This fantastic website became an invaluable source of information...The Rides List helped me to learn who owned what, and the Coming Events List enabled me to locate where & when these showmen would be.  Over the next few years I got to meet various Forum members at the different gaffs I visited, and many of these like-minded souls became (and remain) good friends.  I loved seeing the photographs that members posted from around the country, and these would often inspire me to visit a particular location or area with the aim of seeing & photographing the same rides & transport shown in these topics.  I then began posting selections of the photos taken during my travels, and it was a real pleasure to share them, especially if I managed to capture some of the lesser-known/not often seen equipment - I particularly loved being on a ground during pull-on/pull-off, so it was especially pleasing to share photos of the loads and add them to the Rides List as appropriate.  When the compilation of a Transport List was proposed, I was more than happy to help with the establishment of a comprehensive list of showman's lorries, adding another extremely useful resource for Forum Members.


It is quite incredible to note just how rapidly the modern fairground scene has changed over the past 10 years!  Back in the mid-noughties there were still plenty of ''old-school'' build-up machines on the grounds (particularly Waltzers and Dodgem Tracks), but the majority of these have now been replaced with modern, trailer-mounted fold-out versions, or converted into similar one-load articulated configurations.  This has, in turn, led to the transport generally becoming far less interesting, with tractor-hauled drawbar loads now few & far between.  Similarly, many of the smaller attractions (especially juveniles) are now trailer-mounted fold-out types often towed behind a 4x4, which has led to fewer and fewer lorries on the grounds, so many of the fairground-transport enthusiasts have found their interest has lessened considerably.  First and foremost, for me personally the biggest buzz has always been the once wonderful variety of converted lorries and trailers used by showmen, usually painted in all manner of different colour schemes, often boldly lettered-up and always unique one-offs.  Now this has largely disappeared from the grounds, I find I have little enthusiasm for the transport of today, which is often little different to that used in general haulage.  I'm sorry to say that I don't really enjoy the experience of visiting modern fairs - the over-loud, pounding music, the repetitive generic jingles, the dazzling displays of countless LED's...all combine to create too much of an assault on my delicate, aging senses!!  With so many rides and attractions lacking any real individuality, I find one fairground to be much like any other, so again I feel no real inclination to travel to a specific ground to see a specific attraction.  No doubt the current generation of ''new'' enthusiasts probably embrace modern fairs...one tends to favour what one grows up with, and, as the old saying goes, ''you don't miss what you've never had''!  However, I do know of a number of the more ''senior'' enthusiasts who feel much the same as I do about modern fairs.  My comments are in NO WAY intended to be detrimental to today's showmen...on the contrary, show-people have always been quick to adapt to the changing market, and with business levels generally in decline across the country, I fully appreciate their need to keep costs to a minimum and streamline their operations accordingly.


This may seem like a somewhat cryptic and long-winded tribute to ATFOTF!  The Forum has undoubtedly been the single most important and useful resource that has helped me enormously in pursuit of the hobby during the last 10 years or so...The ''Spark'' may have left me now, but I'm sure ATFOTF remains the best ''one-stop'' source of information for those who are still embroiled in the hobby.  Thank You to Bill, the team of dedicated Admins, and all the Forum Members for greatly enhancing my time as an enthusiast.  Finally, THANK YOU to all the show-people just for being there! :) 

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