The Fair would come to town every year. For three days they would shut the Market Place off at both ends and the fun would begin. Dodgems. Waltzers. T Rex turned up to 11. And girls; that's what I remember anyway, though not necessarily in that order.
Standing on the running board that ran round the Waltzers was as near as me and my friends ever got to being Jim MacLaine; the louder you scream, the faster we go.
Trying to look at least two years older than we really were and hoping our ridiculously wide Oxford Bags wouldn't get snagged in the machinery, whilst at the same time road-testing some lame chat up lines on girls from the High School, was precarious to say the least. Sometimes they'd jump on with you, more often than not they told you to "do one." Even when you said you'd pay. But still, even when they didn't acquiesce, the view from the touch line often made up for the disappointment: the sight of a well turned ankle and all that...
I was reminded of Waltzer Girls when I was reading C. J. Tudor's The Chalk Man last week. If you've not already read this latest bestseller, then I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say, the story of Waltzer Girl runs through her novel like a stick of rock. I loved it.
And with the magic of social media I was able to tell C. J. Tudor (Caz) I loved it. And she thanked me for taking the time. Bless her.
I didn't tell her about my Waltzer Girls though.
On a long forgotten seaside holiday, I begged my parents for hours to be allowed to ride the waltzer. They finally gave in. 'You won't like it' they said. I rode, I screamed along with all the other kids, I felt a bit squiffy, then I burst into tears and hurled my guts up as soon as my feet touched terra firma. I should really have listened to Mum & Dad more often.ReplyDelete
TS - the knack was to keep your head tucked below the top of the seat.Delete
My early experience of "The Waltzers" led to a deal of agonising on my part when, as a burgeoning teenager who'd come to appreciate girls, I had to tolerate the young men who controlled the Waltzers flirting openly with my female partner. I hated these leering individuals with a passion but, as they were usually bigger and older than me, I suffered in silence.ReplyDelete
G - Ringo Starr and David Essex have got a lot to answer for.Delete
Great post, John. The one time the other half convinced me to go on a waltzer (for the first time, at age 39), I convinced myself I was going to die. Perhaps some things are better enjoyed young...ReplyDelete
R - It would appear that my readership would be more at home hooking ducks!Delete
That is the first I've heard of them.ReplyDelete