Hollycombe to stage Fairground and Organ Weekend as 100th anniversary of Big Wheel is celebrated

July 15, 2014

Hollycombe opens its doors this coming Saturday and Sunday (19 & 20 July) for two days of magical entertainment, with the staging of its annual Fairground and Organ Weekend. The Working Steam Museum at Liphook has permanent attractions including the world’s first white-knuckle ride the ‘Razzle Dazzle’, but on this occasion will be joined by visiting fairground rides, a wide selection of vintage fairground organs and some exquisite fairground models.

‘Our Fairground and Organ Weekend is a must for anyone who enjoys good old-fashioned entertainment’ says Hollycombe Trustee Brian Gooding. ‘The Hollycombe permanent rides and steam railway will be open, but the visiting rides and organs will add to the spectacle creating a great-value event. We will be welcoming – amongst other rides – a 1970’s 10 car Bennetts Paratrooper, supplied by Harris Brothers Old Tyme Amusements in Ashington. This is a ride we haven’t seen at Hollycombe before and is sure to be a favourite over the weekend with older children. Toddlers are catered for too, with many rides being staged that can be enjoyed by little ones and their parents.’

The tunes from the vintage fairground organs will create a welcoming carnival atmosphere. With many of the organs dating back to the late 19th century, visitors will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds that delighted our Victorian ancestors. Amongst the organs on display will be early 1880s organettes, hand-turned street organs and  89 key Gavioli and Marenghi Organs. ‘We can expect a light breeze blowing across the Fairground as we are based on top of Iron Hill, with wonderful views over the Downs’ said Brian. ‘The sounds of the organs and the steam drift across the site, which together with the colour and spectacle of the rides create an atmosphere unique to Hollycombe on Fairground and Organ Weekend.’

Other event highlights will include an exhibition of Living Fairground Vans and  Lorries, complete with their traditional fairground livery, and a display of award-winning scale fairground models, including a Waltzer making a special journey south from Preston. And visitors shouldn’t miss a ride on Hollycombe’s Famous Big Wheel. Considered to be 100 years old in 2014, there will be no better place to gain a birds-eye view of the rides and the organs than from the top of the wheel. ‘Remember to bring your camera’ said Brian. ‘This is one event where there will be no end of great photographic opportunities.’