On a large area of waste ground surrounded by a sea of dilapidated backstreets in a deprived area of a northern town, an oasis of flashing colourful lights lit the evening sky and loud, thumping rock and roll music blasted the air.
The travelling funfair had come to town.
1950s. For the majority of the general public – aside from those that saw such venues as dens of iniquity, paradises for thieves and fornicators to operate in and strove to see them shut down – the yearly arrival of the fun fair into their town or village ranks as highly as that as Christmas, Easter and birthdays. For a few short hours, the drab dreariness of mundane, regimented lives are forgotten whilst they revel in the fun and thrills the fair offers them.
But for the people that run and work for these fairs, life is far from the romantic one that the general public believed it is. The hours are long, the work was back-breakingly hard, the living conditions are basic and profits were dependent on so many factors: the unpredictable British weather and disposable income of the punters to name but two.
Despite their derogatory reputation, the majority of showmen and those who work for them are honest, just doing all they can to make a living for themselves and their families in the traditional way their ancestors have done for a thousand years.
But as in all walks of life there are those that only cared about themselves, out for all they can get and with no concern whatsoever for who they use or ruin in their efforts to line their own pockets.
Grundy’s had their fair share of those types.