Carters Steam Fair have announced that this tour will be their last.

A statement released on Facebook revealed that the family are trying to find a permanent site for the fair, and a new buyer to take it over.

Originating in 1977, the steam fair has been a staple of life in Reading for over 30 years.

Run by Joby Carter, the son of founders John and Anna, the collection of rides and side stalls makes Carters the largest travelling vintage funfair in the world.

The fair was at Prospect Park, Tilehurst, last week for the Easter holidays, with more than 100,000 visiting in 2021 and even more expected in 2022.

Wycombe, Maidenhead and Basingstoke are to be one of the last sites visited by the travelling fair.

 

Royal Borough Observer:

 

The statement read: 

"It is with a heavy heart that I am making this announcement today. After much consideration and research, we have taken the decision that this tour will be our final tour. We are looking for a permanent home and a new owner for the fair.

When John and Anna Carter, (my parents) started the fair in 1977, they wanted it to be for the many and not the few. They were passionate about preserving fairground history at a time when other showmen were chasing the latest styles and innovations. In 2000 dad sadly passed away after a 12-month battle with cancer. His meticulous attention to detail and premium values are the legacy that defines us as a family and as a business today. Thanks to the support of the extended Carters family and our loyal fans, the fair has become much bigger than my dad could ever have expected. But with great success comes great responsibility.

 

Royal Borough Observer:

 

"As private keepers of heritage, we have invested thousands of hours over the years to ensure that these rides could be enjoyed by so many. We have spared no expense on restoring these rides to the condition they once were when they were new, even painting by hand and using real gold leaf. We are so proud to see this unique bit of British fairground history being enjoyed by so many. The interest in the fair and its unique artwork has never been higher. We had a bumper year in 2021 with over 100,000 visitors and we expect to see even more visitors in 2022.

We have been looking for suitable land for the fair to be placed on and have talked to the council and other landowners around the UK. As a family run business with expertise in restoration and travelling the fair, we have done our best to familiarise ourselves with the endless details of planning laws, highway regulations and heritage and culture grants. But it is an enormous task that we simply cannot do alone. We are now facing the reality that the best future for the fair is for it to be re-homed on a permanent site and operated by someone else. I’m confident that the next owners can share in this success but for us as a family, it’s time to pass the baton and let someone else continue the magic.

 

 

"So what does this mean for you, our fans?

If you are thinking of visiting us this year, our 2022 tour will carry on as planned to each location we have published. Please take as many photos and videos as you can and make some lovely memories with your family. Tag us in them using #Carters2022 so we can be a part of the fun. We can’t wait to see you!

For those of you that haven’t yet made plans to visit, we felt that by sharing this update today, we could ensure that no-one felt they had missed out. We are open at Pinkneys Green this weekend and will be hosting our final vintage vehicle parade- take the time to watch if you can! We then have events planned until October which you can see here: https://www.carterssteamfair.co.uk/2022-tour-dates/

We are always so amazed by the support we have from our fans: your loyalty and enthusiasm is always incredible. You can help us by sharing this post so we can raise awareness and help the fair find its forever home.

You can read more about our plans to sell the fair in the full statement on our website."

 

Royal Borough Observer:

 

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