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Working on the Fair

Memories of New Brighton

from Griff

The New Palace amusement arcade in New Brighton


New Brighton Palace

Hi, I was born in 1961 can only remember a little about the tower but from the age of 12 I worked on the fair in New Brighton first on the outdoor fair next to the pool and on the boats on the lake all owned by Wilf Griffiths.


I then got a job in the Palace. My first season there was not up to much. I was only allowed to work on the kids rides but my breaks where spent on the Waltzer learning to ride the platform. The next season my boss, then a man called Bob, he called your name in the morning where all the lads would wait to see if you would be lucky to get a job on that day.


I will never forget the words he shouted, he would call your name, then tell you what ride your where on this that morning, he shouted my name and then shouted Waltzer. My dream had come true, I was working on the ride every lad on the fair wanted to work on. I worked on that ride for years after that day but every year the day trippers got less and less.


My nick name then was Griff.


I finally left the fair, but a few years later got to know the new owner of the outdoor fair where I first started working and I went into partnership on one of his rides with him but the same winter that destroyed the baths also caused a lot of damage to the rides outside, so once again I moved on but now at the age of 48 I still go down to New Brighton and all my memories come flooding back. If any one out there remembers me please email me, I would love to hear from you


Many thanks Griff for your recollections




Hi...I worked in the Palace in the early seventies, eventually becoming "relief ride manager". I remember Bob Allanson who was in charge of the rides...a good bloke. Also Eddie Higgins, Tommy Gill and Bernie Macalinden-all Liverpool lads, now sadly deceased. We basically worked for nothing cos we spent most of our wages on chips, burgers and ciggies all bought from the Palace shops and stalls! I recall the skinhead invasion....hundreds and hundreds of them in their "bovver boots" Got some great memories from those days. One day I was on the Jets and there was a large contingent of coloured day trippers-the men in their best suits and the ladies all in fantastically coloured dresses-all with hats. Some of the men were absolutely huge and the ladies were mostly on the large side! Anyway they all got on the jets but their weight proved too much for the compressed air pistons and they remained close to the ground all complaining vociferously! I think we gave them another ride -with one to each jet -and all was well. Afterwards the largest of the men entertained the crowd by standing on the Avery scales by the door which could weigh up to 40 stones, and by doing a little shimmy sent the pointer twice round the dial!
I worked there in the 80s as a 16year old so many memories playin on the waltzers ridin the speedway old ronny fag end in his ear riding the ghost train with girls gettin the operator to stop it by frankinsteins head 4 a bit of fun (if u were lucky) the dodgems brilliant so many people u got 2 meet + got to know great happy days anon
I lived on belmont road new brighton from 1981 to 1989 they were the best days of my life, i lived in the fair and arcade for them 8 years and i remember cleaning dave wilkies car for 3 pounds i felt rich. i used to spend it on chips and put the rest in the arcade, so mr wilkie got his car cleaned for free! Anon
Hiya Griff, Great to read about your time at the fair. I was in a different era to you and worked in the old Tower grounds on the speedway which was on the right hand side as you started up the slope from the prom. A mate and I went to the fairground in the school holidays in 1956 !! looking for some weekend work. The guy who owned the speedway ride had just bought another ride for his son and had just had the Hall and Son name painted on it. The new ride was a waltzer platform but with motorbikes attached to it. My mate and I were started on 12/6 a day ( 62p ) and our first job was to screw all the light bulbs in, thousands of them. After I finished school in July, I started full time on the speedway and the motorbikes ( and sometimes on the little kiddies train track under the Octopus ) for the princely sum of £1 a day. The working day was from 9am to 11pm and sometimes you were lucky to get half an hour off during the day... all for £1. Mind you, you could easily make a few quid from the people who didn't come back for their change after the ride. ( One or two in a car for a shilling, step right up, there's no waiting, were riding right way, its a long fast ride ! )Happy days. And what a time we had when the girls came on the motorbike ride. We used to tell them the bikes on the outside went slower than the ones on the inside and of course they used to ride side-saddle. I would have paid a pound a day to work there when it was my turn on that ride. When it came to the end of the season some of the lads on the other rides told me that I would probably get a bonus from Mr.Hall on the last day so there I was at 11pm having put all the cars away and ready to get my last bus home. Mr Hall said thanks very much son for all your hard work and he gave me half a crown !!!! The following week I had to get a "proper job" and started work in a Liverpool shipping office for £2.15.6 a week (£2.78) Although its over 50 years ago, I still look back on the best times of my working life. All the best to all who worked in New Brighton. Great times and great people. Dickie.
i remember workin in the fair in 80s with u dave a few names u left out mate kev kelly darran jones finchey + me negsy great days Anon
hi i worked at the fair in new Brighton for many years under bob then he went billy mac took over hiring you the name to Russel dad was Tommy draper one great guy he was i worked on the kids ride then the satellite then Tommy died and i was asked to do his job as engineer they were the best days off my life as you Griff m8 i cant remember you sorry i remember Dave parl bobby hughes Alan jimmy crooks and his son. foggy john Jones john freeman and charlie freeman and my best m8 deano on the ghost train and my self Dave buck on the satellite and many more who had the pleasure to work there i still have the picture of me on the waltzer spinning the o.a.p day out wilkie would hold for them my photo was taken for the echo i for got Ronnie off the speed way and ronnie off the shooting range Dave from wallasey they were the best days
I can't say if I remember you Griff although name rings a bell, my ex used to work at the palace too mainly operating the Jets, I remember old bob, he used to manage the speedway and always made me a cuppa tea in a dirty old cup lol...also remember butcher always peering out the office windows through his little glasses, I also remember Billy Mac one of the maintenance blokes but can't for life of me remember his co/workers name but he had a son called russel.. btw even though am female I did master that waltzer skirt that was until wilkie chased me off lol  Anon
have so many happy memories of new brighton from the 1960s working in paddy's cafe in viccy road then in to the empress great daya june birkenhead


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Memories of Wilkies Palace, Funfair, New Brighton