Record numbers of thrill-seekers flock to enjoy the Hoppings' return

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle raised the curtain on the annual event on Newcastle's Town Moor


Record numbers of thrill-seekers are visiting the Hoppings’ white knuckle rides as the annual fair returns to Tyneside.

Thousands flocked to Newcastle’s Town Moor as the Lord Mayor, Coun George Pattison, lifted the curtain on the event’s 132nd year in the city.

Hook-a-duck stalls, dodgems and the Big Wheel are all on offer this weekend, as the event is staged for the first time since a dispute broke out between the land owners and the Showmen’s Guild.

But during an opening speech today the Mayor said: “The Hoppings has a strong tradition in the North East and it’s great to see it back on the Town Moor.

“I am proud that we are lucky enough to have Europe’s largest funfair visit our region. I am delighted to have the opportunity to officially open this superb event, which has something for everyone - we are hoping for a hugely successful year.”

David Wallis, national president of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, and representatives of the organisation, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, attended the official opening ceremony.

Celebrating her tenth birthday, Elysia Reed, from Whickham, Gateshead, presented the Lady Mayoress with a bouquet of flowers.

Sir Len Fenwick, chairman of the Freemen of Newcastle, who own the land, said: “We are very conscious of what an important event the Hoppings is in the regional calendar, bringing so much enjoyment to thousands of people.

“We have worked hard with our partners, Newcastle City Council, to bring this iconic fair to Newcastle.

“There’s a tremendous mix between traditional and the latest thrill rides, as well as a stage where 39 bands will perform throughout the week.

“With a remarkable excitement in the air, you don’t have to spend a lot of money, you can just come and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Now in its 132nd year, The Hoppings, Europe’s largest travelling funfair, attracts growing crowd numbers as people of all ages turn up to try out terrifying rides.

This year’s main attraction is The StarFlyer which spins like a normal Chainflyer, but also races up to a height of 60m as it is spinning.

Once at the top customers are treated to a series of ups and downs as they spin backwards and forward. More traditional rides are also available including the waltzer, dodgems, helter skelters and ghost trains.

The Hoppings will be open until next Saturday between 1.30pm and 11pm on weekends and 2pm to 11pm on weekdays. Discount vouchers are available to download from the website

See your photos of the Hoppings here

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