Bright lights and sugar - how far will £20 go at King’s Lynn Mart?
With two crisp ten pound notes and a handful of vouchers, I headed to the bright lights of the Lynn Mart to see what thrill-seekers and sweet-eaters can get for their money.
Braving the cold that arrives every year with the fair, I watched as the boisterous teens headed straight for the bumper cars and burger stalls, while the sight of Hi-Energy filled me with dread.
As moral support, I’m joined by my friend Rachel Auker who has already decided she will not be going on any big rides but is perfectly happy to help me throw hoops.
We decide to start off gently, easing ourselves in with the hook-a-Toy Story stall. After paying £2.50 each, we each get the chance to hook a character from the film and just seconds in I manage to scoop up Jessie the cowgirl. Rachel hooks herself a cowboy soon after and we head off clutching our prizes, a cuddly penguin and snake.
Despite attempts from the photographer to get me on a water ride, I’m pleased to hear that this one is for children only and we move on to the bigger rides.
Watching children half my age being swung round at high speeds in the air is enough to add to the pit of dread already growing in my stomach, but I climb on to Extreme and cling on to the harness waiting for the ride to start.
For this ride, I used one of the vouchers from the Mart leaflets which meant the ride was £2, and the showmen made sure I got my money’s worth.
For anyone who has not witnessed this ride in action, it starts by swinging you round at high speed while twisting your seat in circles. Then it lifts you in the air, while continuing to spin you round. Just when you think it is stopping, the ride doubles its speed and by this point you cannot tell which way is up.
Needless to say, I found it difficult to walk in a straight line after the ride and my legs felt as though they had detached from my body.
We decide to take it easy and go on one of the more traditional rides next - the ghost train. The ride costed us £2 each after using the vouchers, and although it failed to scare us silly, it was quite a relief after the leg-wobbler that was Extreme.
Next in line was another traditional favourite – the hoopla, which cost £2.50 each for six hoops which we attempted to throw around jars or sweets and bottles of whisky in the hope of taking one of them home.
Despite coming close a few times, we both failed to get the hoop flat around the prizes and went away empty-handed.
Feeling rather cheated after spending so much money and having so little to show for it, we decided to head to one of the many sweet stalls around the market place.
Always a traditional part of the Mart experience we each bought a bag of nougat or coconut ice, rather than the traditional candyfloss, which took the last few pounds we had.
We left with just a few coins in our pockets, a bit of a sugar high and a two cuddly toys.
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Weather for King's Lynn
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west