THE trauma can be traced back to an unfortunate instance thirty-years ago when a friend of mine (or I thought they were a friend) convinced me to go on the ‘Grand National’ ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
“Come on” he said “It’s gentle, it’s not scary at all.” He lied. I recall having an out of body experience as the rickety cart we we’re riding in soared and plunged with reckless abandon. As I clenched my eyes tightly shut, I convinced myself I was lying on a beach in Barbados. I was also not happy to lose one of my cowboy hats, which flew off into the Lancashire sky, never to be seen again.
Since then I have avoided getting into any mode of transport that has a bar across your legs as the only means of safety. I did once chance it on Dr Bubbles Water ride at Thorpe Park, but only because I was showing off to a new boyfriend.
I have never understood the appeal of paying hard-earned money to have your internal organs jolted upside down. Surely your brain bouncing off the inside wall of your skull can’t be good for you? And yet millions of thrill-seekers every year risk losing their lunch on rides such as ‘The Big One’, the ‘Stomach Buster’ or ‘The Traumatiser.’
The history of the funfair stretches back to Roman times when fairs were an excuse for a day off and a booze up. In the Middle Ages fairs were all about trade and it was not until the Industrial Revolution that rides such as we would recognise today began to appear. Due to the large number of people who attended fairs, they were often a hotbed for trouble. Some things never change – you should see Southport Pleasureland on an August Bank Holiday!
If you should wish to give the ferris wheel a go, the Fira del Ram is a travelling fair that arrives in Mallorca before Easter and stays for a few weeks. It has over 170 stalls, rides and refreshment outlets. The Fira del Ram is situated in the Poligino Son Fusteret just north of Palma and is open weekdays in the evenings and all-day Saturday and Sunday. It is on until 28 April.
A- Z of Mallorca has reached the letter ‘M’ for MAJORICA. This is the brand name of imitation pearls made on the island since 1890 by the company Majorica S.A. Majorica pearls are closer to resembling natural pearls, than any other type of imitation pearl. They are different from oyster pearls because they are man-made in a factory under strict controls; whereas oyster pearls grow in nature with frequent irregularities. It takes only several weeks to produce a Majorica pearl, while it takes years to obtain a sizeable oyster pearl. Every Majorica pearl is perfectly matched and round-shaped whereas no two oyster pearls are alike. Over the years a number of cheap imitations have surfaced using confusing names such as pearls from Majorca or Majorca pearls. These are all lower quality imitations, trading on the brand recognition quality and image of true Majorica pearls.
Laura Penn hosts The Sunshine Club every Sunday 10am – 12 noon on Mallorca Sunshine Radio. www.mallorcasunshineradio.com