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The Happy Place

Perth Royal Show, Australia 2013

The history of travelling carnivals and funfairs dates back to as far as ancient Rome and medieval England, where merchants would gather and trade with each other in what was called a 'chartered fair,' which sometimes featured entertainers, too. However, it was in the 18th century that this entertainment portion of the fair became an official spin off we now know as the 'funfair,' and this was where new amusements, such as circus acts, wild animals, puppet shows and peep shows began to emerge.

Not so long after that, in the mid-19th century, Frederick Savage of England invented the steam engine, which would then give birth to fairground rides, including roundabouts and swing boats - a significant addition to the amusement activities. Nonetheless, unfortunately, with the development of more modern theme parks, supported by growing industrialisation, the popularity of the funfair began to decline in the 1920s.

Nevertheless, up till this day, people could still find delight in these classic forms of entertainment that take them back to the olden days. Here, amidst the festive grounds with their bursts of colours, fluorescent rides and luminous air, children, friends, lovers and families could rejoice in the presence of one another, being reminded once more to slow down and appreciate the simpler joys in life - a luxury that most of us have come to lose in the process of growing up and is ever so often forgotten as we get caught up in the fine details of our daily lives.

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