Burnley Fair

Travelling fairs seem to be less common than they were in my childhood, when one would visit our town a couple of times a year. There was an excitement about the fair tinged with wariness and unease, not just about whether the rides were safe but the people operating them as well. When this photograph was taken, in the early 1900s, the rides probably were dangerous and I’m sure there were many serious accidents. In the background, you can make out a huge helter-skelter but this is really a study of ordinary people who, in different clothes, would look like you and me.

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