Once a year the carnival came to town, and you used to save up your pocket money for this special event.

If you lived in a sleepy little town then the sudden arrival of the "shows" with flashing guady lights and loud pop music was something to quicken the beat of your heart.

Besides are the rides... the dodgems, the jungle ride, the cherry planes there was the smell of candyfloss, hotdogs and diesel in the air.

On a summers night the girls screamed as the Wurlitzer spun them around. They gave the eye, to the showmen with greasy teddyboy hairstyles, tight Levi jeans, and Marlon Brando leather jackets, as they jumped on the back of the dodgem cars to take the fares.

It was exciting just to watch the lights and the movement and listen to the barkers trying to entice customers to try to win a goldfish by throwing hoops over a wine bottle.

However there is nothing more sad than a carnival in the rain. The lights still blaze... it must cost a forture to keep them lit. The music still blares out in a woeful attempt to attract customers, but for the most part the machines stand motionless in the rain and people hurry past, heads bent into the wind.

Is it the credit crunch? Is it the weather? But these days there is not much fun at the funfair.