Southport’s One Big Weekend
Southport’s One Big Weekend show presented by North _ West Fun Fairs took place at the Leisure Lakes site, Mere Brow, Tarlton over the bank holiday weekend. Leisure Lakes is a caravan park with some 110 pitches and offers its guests a wide range of activities from paint balling to archery.
This was the second event by the firm following on from last year’s first Big Weekend event at Leverhulme Park in Bolton. Two months of planning have gone into putting on the show, with further events scheduled for later in the season across the North West.
North West Fun Fairs must be commended for putting a show on in the true sense of the word and it is hoped they can take the whole package to other towns and plug some gaps made in the area’s dwindling show calendar.
The weekend’s events kicked off with a fun fair and firework display on the Friday evening. On Saturday, gates opened at 10am with a full timetable of arena events scheduled between 1pm and 6.30pm. Arena acts included the Big Foot monster truck, a motorbike stunt display team, a tug of war competition, a children’s TV character ‘meet and greet’ and on the Bank Holiday Monday, a birds of prey aerial display.
Besides these displays, the stages played host to numerous acts from Rod Stewart to Elvis sound-alikes, a talent contest which brought acts from as far away as Bolton and The Wirral, whilst on the Saturday there were vintage vehicles on show.
Elsewhere on the show field could be found market stalls, craft marquees, food courts and a beer tent. Each day was scheduled to be rounded off with a firework display. Meeting visitors at lunchtime on the Saturday was Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock who plays the programme’s Marlon Dingle.
World’s Fair visited late on Sunday at around tea time, when visitor numbers possibly reflected the time of the day. We were informed that this had been the busiest day, although the two previous days had been somewhat affected by the weather.
Entry to the show was set at £3 for adults, £2 for kids . and OAPs, with free entry to babies and prams. Visitors were also given the chance to win a mountain bike in a free prize draw on entry to the ground.
Greeting people at the entrance was a new purpose built paybox constructed for the shows by Kurt Hill. This was not the only piece of Kurt’s handy work as close by inside the ground was the second example of his work in the shape of a traditional striker. This was built originally for the Editor of Cheshire Life for a photo shoot. Also greeting visitors either side of the entrance was and Ski Jump; Michael Hill’s Dodgems, dome, toy set, teacups and cranes; James Bedford’s Ski Jump, toy set, Chairs and Little Wheel; Robert Hill’s penalty; Bradley Wright’s Rotor; and stalls from Michael and Dean Hill. Catering was by North West Funfairs and Willow Catering on the show field. the firm’s Scammell Pioneer and the firm’s McCarthy 54 Key organ.
There were fewer machines present than at Bolton, with the majority coming from North West Funfair Supplies and these included their Supreme Waltzer, Christers Twist, Skyrider, Miami, inflatables, Chairs, jets, ladybirds and Ski Jump; Michael Hill’s Dodgems, dome, toy set, teacups and cranes; James Bedford’s Ski Jump, toy set, Chairs and Little Wheel; Robert Hill’s penalty; Bradley Wright’s Rotor; and stalls from Michael and Dean Hill.
Catering was by North West Funfairs and Willow Catering on the show field.
Article by Shaun Martin
World’s Fair Magazine