Anderton and Rowlands Fun Fair came to Walls Hill in August each year. This was the highlight of the year for us Babbacombe kids. We saved our pennies all year long for this big event. As my sister and I walked up the hill we were met by the familiar smells of hot dogs and frying onions. Our first port of call was the toffee apple or candy floss stands followed by the hoopla stall. Much to my delight I won a pink teddy bear. I cherished that old bear for years.
There were sounds of rifle cracks, coconut shies and the hammer hitting the bell when some swell had hit it hard enough. The mighty swinging boats and the helter skelter were next. I was quite timid as a kid and I only went on these tummy flippers once and I was cured for life.
Next came my favourite – the Carousel, and most of my money went on the flamboyantly painted horses as they whirled around with manes and tails flying and my imagination soared as I rode off into the wild blue yonder. The ancient steam organ would scare us as it let out loud blasts of steam and the dancing ladies and the Cavalier whirled around. The ‘Wall of Death’ featuring noisy motorcycles ridden by black leather clad youths who
scaled the circular walls, defying gravity, and the ‘Chairoplanes’ and ‘Ferris Wheel’ were off limits to me, as was the ‘Octopus,’ but the ‘Bumper Cars’ were ok as we set out to terrorize our enemies from school. The scariest ride of all was the Waltzers, probably considered tame by today’s standards. There were certain booths that were off limits to the little kids but I did get in to see Dracula’s daughter!
If we were good and we had a nap in the afternoon my mum would take us to the bigger version of the fair on the Strand in Torquay at night. We were ‘over the moon’ and even luckier if we bumped into one of the aunts or uncles who often treated us when our money had run out.
The caravans where the crew stayed were at the back of the rides and the total fair covered a third part of Walls Hill but never spilled onto the cricket pitch!
In later years the Circus complete with the Big-Top came to Walls Hill.
Christine Hawkins, Canada.