Tradition returned to my village on Thursday with the start of the Tryst Fair.
In the days so many annual events have been lost to the community Calendar, it’s great the ‘Trysters’ are back in town with their rattling rides, cheap and cheerful stalls and sideshows and colourful and noisy razzamatazz.
For Stenhousemuir folk the September weekend simply wouldn’t be the same without ‘The Shows’ dominating the skyline with their bright lights and thumping background music mixing with the noisy laughter of families enjoying themselves and the smell of diesel fuel and hot dogs filling the air.
And, of course, it will be raining so everybody going along for a spin on the waltzer or a knock-about on the dodgems will have the added enjoyment of wading through the puddles and mud to get around.
I remember there was always a buzz about the village in anticipation of the show folk arriving. After school we’d head for the open space between the football ground and golf course and watch then roll up in their huge heavy duty lorries with huge heavy duty trailers and caravans in tow. The caravans were things of wonder to gawp at - large eight-wheelers that seemed to stand a mile high with ornate brass work and dazzlingly shiny wood panelling and miles of lace curtains around the windows.
When I was a youngster the carnival even included a circus complete with Big Top and ‘wild’ animals and, in advance of opening night, a man in a garishly bright and striped morning coat and top hat would walk around the village on stillts encouraging us to ‘roll up, roll up’ and join the fun.
It’s been many years since we’ve seem him, or the circus or bearded lady for that matter, but I still can’t wait for the show to begin!