Onlookers clutched their umbrellas in the cold and rain on Friday as Lynn’s Mart was opened by the borough mayor, who refused to let the weather stop her from being the first on the bumper cars.
Leading the procession of dignitaries down to the dodgems for the traditional opening ceremony, Mayor Elizabeth Watson was joined by the Reverend Canon Christopher Ivory and the Chaplain to the Showmen’s Guild, the Reverend Canon Simon Stokes, who led the service with prayers.
After the reading of The Mart Proclamation by the chief executive of the borough council, Ray Harding, the mayor declared the fair open.
She said she hoped the weather would improve, before reminiscing about her times at the funfair, particularly “the anticipation and the thrill of the rides.”
She added: “And I am thrilled to see the gallopers here, a real reminder of my childhood. I will be reliving all of this in a dodgem car, as long as I can get in, and out of one.”
David Wallis, president of the Showmen’s Guild, said: “This is the 810th Mart and I hope I’m here to see the 900th. We have new exciting rides for you this year, I’m sure the children and teenagers will enjoy them.
“The Mart is part of your tradition and heritage, and it is part of ours. Long live the fair!”
As is traditional, The Mart Bell was rung to announce the funfair was open for business, before the mayor and her guests tested out their driving skills on the dodgems.
Later, the Bishop of Lynn the Very Rev Jonathan Meyrick, MP Henry Bellingham, Lord Romney and chaplain to the Showmen’s Guild, the Revd Canon Simon Stokes, raised £100 for Red Wellies when they braved The Mart’s newest ride – the 140ft-high Altitude.
The Mart will be open until Tuesday, February 25, opening on weekdays from 5pm, on Saturdays from noon, but closed on Sundays.