Friday, 20 April 2007

Links Market 2007 - The Longest Fair In Europe

I cruised by to see what the fuss was about as Kirkcaldians would proudly point to the fact that the Links Market has a 700 plus year history (officially having started in 1304). And that it is the longest street fair in Europe that runs for six days around the time of Easter and signals the start of the Showman’s year in Scotland.

Like most British traditions that stem from the pre-Google age, it had mutated beyond original recognition. It is now more akin to a tacky seaside funfair where families can amble about in a disinterested fashion, teenagers congregate collectively to mooch, smooch and drink hooch, enthralled kids can siphon parents’ wages into showmans’ jangling pockets and where antediluvian tartan wrapped pensioners in pushed wheelchairs can have a colourful day out in the bracing cold.

The police were out in force, the paramedics were on stand-by and the public toilets were provided for to ensure the proletarians play faired (pun intended). All one had to do was just waddle up and down the length of scary rides and screaming people and absent-mindedly decide, whilst struggling to fit the candy floss into your gob without getting the sticky sugar all over your annoyed visage, which attractions were worth your time.

The city lad within me found the whole experience rather under-whelming. But sufficient numbers of 21st century British crowds still seem to enjoy bathing in the radiance of the quaint and kitsch so at the end of the day, people-watching turned out to be the most amusing thing of all…

Seagull’s eye view of the Links Market

The average age of clientele must have hovered around the teens

It amazes me how useless tacky goods still wow the crowds

Get stuffed!

…round round baby round round…

The crowd pleasing British addition to authentic Chinese cuisine basically boils down to chips + any sauce!

Staple hearty funfair British grub robust enough to induce lockjaw

The vominator dry spins your insides for a mere £5…or more…if it catapults your loose change all the way to Dysart

Loose dentures, condom packets and Mercedes Benz car keys constantly whistled above the unsuspecting heads of the crowds below

The life and soul of the party attracted an avid array of ankle biters

…whilst Rastas get no love…awwwwww…

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