Club Walk No 5, The Hoppings, Town Moor, Newcastle - Thursday 25th June 2015.


On Thursday 25th June 2015, members met with cameras, lenses and tripods for Walk Number 5 of the summer
programme as we set out to capture the colour and action of "The Hoppings". This is an annual event where the
showmen and their families come from all over the country to gather on Newcastle's Town Moor and this tranquil
green space is transformed into the largest travelling funfair in Europe.
It is not really known where the term "Hoppings" originates, but many suggestions relate to terms for dancing,
others claim that clothing often became infested with fleas from the animals that once travelled with the fair and
that people itching from the flea bites were "jumping" or "hopping" about, but it could also come from the Anglo
Saxon word "Hoppen" meaning funfair.
In its one hundred & thirty three year history, the amusements have changed from steam driven roundabouts to
the latest fast white knuckle rides, but old favourites such as "The Waltzer" and "The Dodgems" continue to be as
popular as ever and the colour and spectacle of this local tradition remains a magnet for young and old. The smell
of fast food, loud music, candy floss and rubbish prizes, bingo, fortune tellers, coconuts and even the weather, all
contribute to the appeal of this iconic event.

After several circuits of the show ground we met at the big wheel for a half time chat, and as the light started to
fade we gravitated to the fast moving rides and bumped into several members of other camera clubs with the
same goal. Tripods and different shutter speeds were then used stop the action or obtain amazing light trails.
Photographically there are images to be found everywhere, whether it be isolating fine detail, capturing the people
that attend or recording the movement of the rides. This makes a visit to the hoppings a good exercise in getting
to know your camera and actually looking for a picture. Thank you to those who made the effort to attend making
it an enjoyable evening.
                                         Davy Bolam.