All the fun of the fair as Mart opens for old and young alike
- Credit: Ian Burt
Final preparations are being made for the King's Lynn Mart, which will bring rides and sunshine on its opening day tomorrow (Tuesday, February 14).
The Tuesday Market Place transforms into a kids playground by day and an adult fairground by night for two weeks.
The town is electrified with sounds of shrill laughter from thrill-seekers and promises days of fun for children on their half-term break.
The traditional fair begins the travelling season for showpeople on Valentine's Day and has been running for as long as anyone can remember.
Charles Appleton's family has been with the Mart for five generations, dating back as early as 1804. He has brought the Hi Energy ride to the Mart for 23 years.
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'It is just something we were born into,' he said. 'It is all I have ever known. The Mart is important for our way of life, we don't know any different.'
Mr Appleton hopes the family tradition will be kept alive through his son and is optimistic the Mart will carry on for generations to come.
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He added: 'It is a nice start to the season and the showmen are keeping it going.
'It's important for the town as it brings a lot of fun and it's cheap - kids day is only £1, what could you get for that these days?'
The Mart was given a Royal Charter in 1537 by Henry VIII and in the late 19th century, it served as a spectacular event in which fairground manufacturer Frederick Savage would display some of the first carousels ever built.
In addition to the conventional fairground rides the Mart brings dodgems, hook-a-duck, rings and blocks. The Jumping Frog has been restyled as The Yeti, which owner Theodore Wyatt has continued from the winter season.
He has been with the Mart for 38 years and believes the setbacks of modern times has not deterred people from enjoying the rides.
'My father and mother used to come here,' Mr Wyatt said.
'It is something which passes on through one generation to the next. Nowadays there is a lot more entertainment, especially with the internet, and it makes this job harder to do.
'But the people of King's Lynn always support us and they wouldn't be coming here unless it was financially worthwhile.
'They keep the Mart going every year.'