PICTURES: Ilkeston’s historic Charter Fair returns

Erewash Mayor Coun Abey Stevenson enjoying a dodgem ride during the launch of Ilkeston Charter Fair.
Erewash Mayor Coun Abey Stevenson enjoying a dodgem ride during the launch of Ilkeston Charter Fair.

One of the oldest and largest street fairs in Europe is back in Ilkeston.

Now in its 764th year, the Ilkeston Charter Fair attracts thousands of people and transforms the town centre into a colourful spectacle with some of the biggest and best travelling rides and sideshows in the country.

Erewash Mayor Coun Abey Stevenson opens the event with the ceremonial 'ringing of the bell'.

Erewash Mayor Coun Abey Stevenson opens the event with the ceremonial 'ringing of the bell'.

The fair opened last night (Wednesday), but received its traditional opening on Thursday lunchtime with the ceremonial ‘ringing of the bell’ by the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson.

The ceremony, which included the reading of the 1252 Charter, took place in front of the town hall.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Generations of families from across the borough have enjoyed the colour and excitement that the Charter Fair brings to town.

“It is a spectacular sight as it stretches out across the town centre, bringing fun for everyone – from the traditional side stalls and family rides to the white knuckle rides for all the daredevils!”

Erewash Mayor Coun Abey Stevenson opened the event with help from children from Stanley St Andrews Primary School and Hallam Fields Primary School.

Erewash Mayor Coun Abey Stevenson opened the event with help from children from Stanley St Andrews Primary School and Hallam Fields Primary School.

The fair transforms the Market Place and the surrounding streets – Bath Street, East Street, South Street, Queen Street, Wharncliffe Road and Pimlico.

Attractions are open from noon-11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The fair continues until Sunday.

The fair continues until Sunday.

Enjoying a ride on the dodgems at the launch of Ilkeston Charter Fair.

Enjoying a ride on the dodgems at the launch of Ilkeston Charter Fair.