Typically rainy weather didn’t deter hundreds of thrill seekers and families enjoying all the fun of Ilkeston Charter Fair this weekend.
The 761st fair was officially opened on Thursday (October 17) by Mayor of Erewash Cllr Val Clare and a very special guest.
Teenage cancer sufferer Alex Read rang the bell in front of dozens of civic guests and crowds of townsfolk to mark the opening in front of the Town Hall.
St John Houghton Academy student Alex, 14, is battling osteosarcoma – a form of bone cancer – and had to have an arm amputated earlier this year due to his treatment.
The brave youngster said: “It’s a real honour to be picked to do this. It’s exciting to be here.”
When asked which rides he was looking forward to trying, he said: “The scarier ones.”
Following the age-old tradition, the medieval Charter was read aloud by Erewash Borough Council chief executive Jeremy Jaroszek and the Mayor and lead member for culture and leisure Cllr Mike Wallis addressed the crowds.
Cllr Clare said: “It is truly remarkable that a town centre can be transformed into such a spectacle that we see before us today.”
Cllr Wallis added: “This represents 761 years of history for the townsfolk of Ilkeston.
“The Charter Fair brings people in to the town from miles around and for these few days and beyond it puts Ilkeston firmly on the map.”
All the civic guests had a traditional ride on the dodgems and the Ferris wheel after the official opening.
Police have hailed this year’s event, which ran from Wednesday to Sunday, as one of the most trouble-free in years.
Pc Andy Kendall-Edwards who was on patrol in the town centre every day of the fair, said: “I’ve worked Ilkeston Fair for the past six years.
“This was by far the most enjoyable, hardly any bother compared to previous years.”
Rides this year ranged from the Crazy Mouse and Chaos to the more traditional dodgems, waltzers and cake walk.