The fair was in the centre of the racecourse

and every Easter we’d beg our parents for pounds

while Granddad clambered to stand on the back of the 4×4

and Granny passed around salmon and cucumber sandwiches,

sausage rolls, cups of tea, and packs of ready salted crisps.

Some years we would squirm away from sun-cream and hats,

while other were spent huddled beneath umbrellas,

or listening to the rain hammer on the roof and windows

while the horses continued to gallop past the windscreen,

mud splattered and steaming.

You and I

counted down the races one by one,

until the vested interests of family friends had run their laps

and someone was free to wander away from the track

to the spinning swings, and the carousels and hook-a-duck

where we laughed and screeched and groaned when we lost.

Now I am older the fair seems smaller

and we do not beg for pound or wander down the bank towards it.

But it’s there

in the distance,

glinting and burnished like a penny in a puddle,

while I eat salmon and cucumber sandwiches in the back of a pickup

and my Grandfather cheers from the flatbed

roaring his runners home.


Not far from where my parents live is Eyton Racecourse and every year they hold point-to-points (an amateur steeplechase) and it’s a family tradition to go each year to one of the Easter meets.

When my sister and I were younger, all we wanted was to go to the fair. It was our favourite part of going to the point-to-point. Now we’re older we don’t go to the fair and we’re more interested in the actual racing.

Hopefully there’s enough about the fair in this to meet tonight’s Poetic’s Prompt from the dVerse Poets Pub!

Charlie Boy


  1. Oh I LOVE this response to the prompt! 🙂 Especially the idea of how the fair was so magical when you were young and looks smaller now….it’s the perspective of youth to see all things as big and glamorous! 🙂 And yet, those sandwiches and your grandfather’s cheers are still with you. A burnished penny memory still wrapped in today’s outing. Lovely! 🙂


  2. While some family outings/traditions are best forgotten, this one definitely sounds like a keeper. I love that the whole family is included in this – and how even though the fair seems smaller now, it is there waiting for you….


  3. What a wonderful slice of memory, Carol. Delicious, really.
    I absolutely love this stunner ending:
    “and my Grandfather cheers from the flatbed

    roaring his runners home.”


  4. I love the progression from childhood to adulthood, Carol, and the Englishness of the fair, which is so familiar. When I was little my parents move near to Tattenham Corner, by Epsom racecourse, and I lived with them for a year before returning to my grandparents. I loved horses and fairgrounds and your poem reminds me of that time. My Nan also made salmon and cucumber sandwiches for pretty much every occasion, with ready salted crisps, of course!


  5. Great read…you must be posh if you got salmon in your butties. Unless is was paste of course 😉
    I loved this line in particular ‘glinting and burnished like a penny in a puddle’
    Just nailed it.


  6. I enjoyed reading about how someone from another country has grown up. It sounds like great fun! Just like life, when you grow up, everything seems smaller, or different.


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