Carter's Steam Fair at Dreamland, 29-31 May 2010

The famous Carters Steam Fair opened at Dreamland Margate for three days for the 2010 Spring Bank Holiday. Organised in association with the Dreamland Trust, this appearance was a taster to the amusement park of thrilling historic rides that will be opening at Dreamland in 2012.

Established in 1976 by the late John Carter, Carter's Royal Berkshire Steam Fair is the UK's premier vintage travelling fair operator, boasting many rides from the early 20th Century. The fair's many beautifully restored rides include Gallopers, Ark, Helter Skelter, Dodgems, Octopus, Victory Dive Bomber and Swingboats. Many of these rides are similar to those that would have appeared at Dreamland through the years. The line-up also featured a Wall of Death ride similar to that which appeared at Dreamland for many years.

All photographs by Nick Laister. High resolution prints are available to buy by clicking the links below each photo.


Image Code 6533: Banner promoting the event on Margate seafront.

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Image Code 6339: Advertising along a busy Margate seafront

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Image Code 6497: Approaching Carters at Dreamland.

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Image Code 6487: John Carter's Jubilee Steam Gallopers greeted visitors at the entrance to the fair.

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Image Code 6539: Steam from the Gallopers with the Scenic Railway behind.

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Image Code 6351: The Victory Dive Bomber. Built in c.1958, Carters acquired the ride in 2001 from Chris Coombes. The ride was refurbished at Rundles in 2001.

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Image Code 6362: Owned by Mike & Kerrie Rule from Cambridgeshire, this lighthouse slip is a regular attraction at Carters Steam Fair.

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Image Code 6374: A general view of Carters at Dreamland, with the Lighthouse Slip in the background.

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Image Code 6377: The Gallopers. First owned by the Harris family c1895, but it has a history strongly linked to Kent. In c1921 the ride was acquired by Ted Andrews of Kent, then sold to William 'Bill' Penfold c1938, also of Kent. It was then sold to a gypsy turned Showman John King in 1948, and the ride travelled the South Yorkshire area. Bill Bradley, a Preston based professional Showman, purchased the set in early 1952 for 1000. In 1956 the ride was owned by Oliver Aveyard, who opened it at its first amusement park, Burnham Beeches pleasure grounds. The ride remained in operation at the park until the end of the 1976 season. It was then acquired by John Carter and fully restored. The history of this ride can be found in the book John Carter's Jubilee Steam Gallopers by Paul Braithwaite.

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Image Code 6379: John Carter & Sons 'Toytown' juvenile ride. This is a Halstead platform ride, acquired by Carters in 1988.

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Image Code 6397: John Carter & Sons Train Ride. This is a Maxwell ride from the 1930's, restored in 1996 and decorated in the style and colourings of GWR.

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