Funfair Returns To Granville Road After 50 Years

Walter Ling's funfair
Walter Ling's funfair
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A FUNFAIR is returning to Granville Road in Sheffield for the first time in around 50 years.

Farrar’s Mega Fun Fair starts tomorrow (Friday) on the cleared site of the old Granville College – across the road from the new college campus where Ling’s funfairs used to held as part of the former Star and Telegraph gala on what was called Farm Grounds.

WILLIAM PERCIVAL  William Percival  at his  Farrars Fun Fair in Endcliffe Park.   13 June 2006

WILLIAM PERCIVAL William Percival at his Farrars Fun Fair in Endcliffe Park. 13 June 2006

“The fair was usually there around May,” said William Percival, who owns Farrar’s.

“I can vaguely remember it. I would be about seven or eight. It started in the 50s and I think it finished about 1963 or 1964.”

Some of operators at the latest Granville Road funfair, which runs until March 21, are from the Ling’s family, which is closely related to the Farrar’s.

“We are Sheffield people and we like to be in our own area and to do the best for the city in this economic situation,” said William, who lives in Chapeltown.

The latest funfair, with free admission, will be the largest in Sheffield this year, with 16 big rides along with smaller children’s attractions and side stalls.

There will be a ghost train, as there was 50 years ago.

But there will be no Tomb of Death featuring Blondini, Titana the Fat Lady, Gray’s Slave Girl, Lollo the Rat Girl or the chance to see the Biggest Rat.

Prof Vanessa Toulmin, director of the National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield, said the old Granville Road fair was very popular.

“Although Sheffield didn’t have a major fair, such as in Nottingham, it did have a lot of big fairs in different areas, such as Crookes, Owlerton and Hillsborough, and they still continue.”

The Granville Road land has been cleared by Sheffield College with a view to redevelopment for housing.