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All the Fun of the Fair

Episode 3 of 12

Documentary which explores the history of the fairground, from the sideshows to the freak shows, and from early hand-powered rides to the arrival of steam and electricity.

Timeshift explores rarely seen images from the University of Sheffield's National Fairground Archive to ride back to the origins of the fairground. From the sideshows, the freak shows and early hand-powered rides to the arrival of steam and electricity, the story of fairs is the tale of one of our first forms of popular entertainment.

The film shows how fairgrounds often provided the only entertainment to rapidly expanding industrial towns. It looks at how, from the 50s, the fairground was the site of youth rebellion, and why we are still entranced by these travelling carnivals that arrive overnight and then vanish just as mysteriously.

59 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • The Who

    Baba O'Riley

  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

    The Carny

  • Chuck Berry

    Around and Around

  • The Kinks

    Louie Louie

  • Van Morrison

    She Moved Through The Fair

  • The Rolling Stones

    Not Fade Away

  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

    The Carnival is Over


Role Contributor
Narrator Julian Rhind-Tutt
Executive Producer Michael Poole
Producer Francis Welch
Director Francis Welch
Series Producer Ben Southwell