RIPLEY’S 761st fair got under way on Thursday night - with the return of some high-powered rides that filled the night air with screams of delight.
Stomach-churning favourite Superbowl made a reappeareance alongside the Bomber ride, which lifted riders 120ft in the air and there were plenty of takers for hardy perennials like the dodgems and the ghost house.
The new ‘Take Off’ ride, which lifts and spins brave riders at high speeds, drew big crowds at the Pear Tree pub car park on Derby Road.
The Mayor of Ripley councillor Steve Daley opened proceedings by reading out a precis of the charter which established the fair during 13th century.
He said: “By the Powers invested on 25th day of November 1251 by King Henry III it should be known that there is a Charter which allows for all time use of land in the former Manor of Rippeleg (now Ripley Market Place) for a Fair for a period of three days every year.
“I hereby confirm that the King’s Charter is upheld for the year 2012 and officially open the Fair.”
Town Clerk Linda McCormick said: “It went absolutely fine considering the weather. It was wet and showery but there were quite a few people turned up. On Friday it got really busy.”
Ripley Fair pre-dates the Goose Fair at Nottingham. Each year members of Ripley Town Council and the Showman’s Guild, which organises the entertainments, meet for a dinner on the eve of the fair ‘s opening night as a gesture of goodwill.
Bernard Mitchell of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain 07885 971796