Ted's talking points

17th March 2000 at 00:00
Most people have been to a fairground and they can soon lose their appeal when childhood is left behind, but they have been around a long time, so is there something magic about them?

For Fairgrounds are great places for whole families as well as single people. There are many attractions for all ages, such as the thrill of rides that are scary but safe, traditional favourites such as roundabouts, and sidestalls where you can win prizes. People's faces tell you they're enjoying themselves, a great antidote to stress. They're colourful and noisy, but a lot offun.

Against Small children may find funfairs magic, but in reality they are pretty squalid. The rides were fun years ago, in simpler times, today they are just old-fashioned. Some rather undesirable characters hang around fairgrounds, especially at night. The food is terrible: inedible hotdogs and candyfloss. The so-called prizes are not worth winning: tatty toys that end up in the bin. And, when the fair moves on, good parkland has been turned to mud.

Ted Wragg is professor of education at the University of Exeter march 17 2000 TES FRIDAY

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today