One night at the Mop Fair

I’m just back from the Mop Fair – a funfair that takes over the streets of Stratford once a year. I love funfairs, but missed last year’s due to uni, which induced major grumpage. This year I made it to the second night, though, and much fun was had. We went on every major ride, but by far the most dramatic was the reverse bungee:

Reverse bungee Peak of the reverse bungee arc

You’re very firmly strapped into a cage, which is in turn attached to the ground with a large magnet. Two lengths of elastic pull themselves taut with the top of the ten-storey towers, then the magnet releases.

Quite honestly, I don’t remember much after the initial release. The g-forces are pretty extreme, and by the first tumbling freefall my brain had rebooted into Safe Mode. Unfortunately the ride operators neglected to mention that we should push down quite firmly on the footbar, so we both had legs come free and slam into metal struts. The subsequent bounces were a mixture of exhilaration and, frankly, large amounts of pain. I expect there’ll be quite the bruise in the morning. Still, it was worth it 🙂

Everything seemed tame after that. But we did these too:

'Stargate' ride 'Storm' ride

We also went on the carousel. My friend had a beautifully carved horse with inlays and ringlets and ornaments crafted from solid gold. I had a goddamn chicken. Srsly. It was a beautiful carousel, well-lit and full of the traditional horses and musical pipes, except some of the horses were chickens.

Sadly I didn’t have my camera with me at that point. It’s always difficult managing a large camera when I want to go on the rides, so I decided to concentrate on the latter this year. I nipped down later and got a couple of shots of them packing away, though:

 Packing away the big wheel Packing away 'rotor'

and this morning I spotted this dude:

Mop fair evangelist

Who was, frankly, not putting in the required effort: he wandered about with the sign, but didn’t actively annoy anyone.