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Welcome return for Peter Fair after pandemic absence

By Alan Beresford

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ALL the fun of the fair made a very welcome return to Buckie in the shape of Peter Fair.

Covid regulations meant that it was the first time the annual fair had been able to come to town since July 2019, but the local folk and visitors alike made short work of making up for lost time.

Running from Wednesday evening through to Friday evening, Peter Fair was a bit smaller than has been the case previously but still offered plenty of family friendly fun for all.

Thanks to fair organisers Horne's Pleasure Fairs, there was a variety of rides stretching from the thrilling and stomach churning to the more sedate.

Also, there was a selection of rides for the younger visitors to the fair who are not quite ready for the high adrenalin attractions.

No fair would be complete with the usual stalls, where prizes of all sorts can be won, and a variety of games, and there were plenty to choose from for fairgoers.

For the peckish, a choice of food stalls was on hand.

For Peter Fair organiser Christian Horne it was good to be back after two summers away from Rathven park and the punishing restrictions brought in to help tackle the Covid pandemic.

He said: "We're really glad to be back at Peter Fair.

"Last year we had one or two smaller things up north but this summer we're looking forward to the full programme, including the likes of Turriff Show and the Black Isle Show.

"The last two years have been more than tough for us. It wasn't just the Covid regulations the industry had to follow it was the fact that they were different depending where you were in the country. Some of the rules did have us scratching our heads; for example, we had to disinfect the seats on the rides after each use but you could leave the fair and get on a public bus where the seats weren't disinfected.

"However, these were things we just had to do and we got on with it. We're looking forward to the future now and we're happy to be back doing what we love and enjoy."

Mr Horne went on to note that one of the reasons Peter Fair was smaller this year was due to the fact that many of the showpeople who had previously attended had left the industry as a result of the pandemic.

Sky-rocketing costs, especially with regard to fuel, has also hit the pleasure fair industry hard. Long distances to travel between shows plus vehicles and generators which are heavy on fuel use combine to hit operators with a double whammy.

The costs do not end there.

Mr Horne added: "I've ordered a new walzer ride, which will probably take me around two years to get.

"Due to the uncertainty over the price of materials all I can get from the manufacturers is a ballpark figure – £650,000-£750,000 – which may turn out to be higher, plus VAT on top.

"Normally, I'd pay back a new ride in five or six years but I'm looking at double that now. The costs are crazy but if you don't do it, you get left behind."

Peter Fair is one of the oldest fairs in Scotland.

BLOB For more pictures, turn to page 4.

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