News

Fairground & Organ Weekend comes to Hollycombe

  • 6th July 2017
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Hollycombe opens its doors on Saturday and Sunday 15th & 16th July for one of the highlights of the year with the staging of its annual Fairground & Mechanical Organ Weekend.

Hollycombe opens its doors on Saturday and Sunday 15th & 16th July for one of the highlights of the year with the staging of its annual Fairground & Mechanical Organ Weekend. Hollycombe – Steam in the Country has popular permanent attractions including the world’s first white-knuckle ride the ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and the recently restored world’s oldest Haunted House, but on this occasion will be joined by visiting juvenile fairground rides, a wide selection of vintage fairground organs and exquisite fairground models (around 50 organs and models are expected!).

Many of the exhibitors return again and again to Hollycombe, enjoying the atmosphere of the event and the camaraderie shown between exhibitors, organisers and visitors. Anji Smith has been attending the event for a number of years, and with her partner Ian Tressler will be  exhibiting a scale working Scammell Showtrac lorry and trailer. But Anji also helps exhibitors set up and bed in: ‘Happy exhibitors make for happy visitors, and we pull out all the stops to ensure that everyone is made very welcome,’ said Anji. John Taylor, a Fairground Modeller from Hailsham, also sees Hollycombe as his favourite event of the year. ‘I always have fun at Hollycombe, so much so that I also attend the Model Weekend in early September. For the Fairground Weekend I’ll be displaying a model Speedway Arc Ride with swing boats and transport.’

‘Our Fairground & Organ Weekend is a must for anyone who enjoys good old-fashioned entertainment,’ says Hollycombe Trustee Brian Gooding. ‘The many visiting rides and organs will be displayed in and around our traditional fairground to create a unique spectacle. The rides, models and displays appeal to all tastes – this is a true three-generation event, something that can be enjoyed by mums and dads, grandparents and grandchildren alike. We will be opening up our restoration works shed to display many of the models under cover. We have extended the number of models due to their popularity.’

Outside in the Fairground, 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 can 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.

Brian notes: ‘Many of our exhibitors travel hundreds of miles to attend. They enjoy meeting our visitors and take great pleasure in seeing their excited faces. With steam, colour and music, there’s lots to see and do – make sure you bring a camera to record the spectacle!’

Visitors will also be able to enjoy Hollycombe’s other fairground rides including the famous Big Wheel, and ride the Quarry Railway. The weekend is great value as ticket holders will be able to return to Hollycombe on open days for a year and enjoy all the rides again, together with further planned events, including the Model Weekend on 2nd-3rd September. Hollycombe has an extended summer opening season for 2017, opening from Tuesdays to Sundays between 1st & 28th August (inc. Bank Holiday Monday).