HOLLYCOMBE Steam in the Country opens its doors on Saturday and Sunday for the staging of its annual fairground and vintage organ weekend.

Hollycombe has permanent attractions including the world’s first white-knuckle ride the Razzle Dazzle, and the restored world’s oldest haunted house, but on this occasion Hollycombe will be joined by visiting fairground rides, a wide selection of vintage fairground organs and fairground models.

Many of the exhibitors return again and again to Hollycombe, enjoying the atmosphere of the event and the camaraderie shown between exhibitors, organisers and visitors. Anji Smith has been attending the event for a number of years, and with her partner Ian Tressler will be exhibiting a scale working Scammell Showtrac lorry and trailer. Anji also helps exhibitors set up and bed in.

She said: “Happy exhibitors make for happy visitors, and we pull out all the stops to ensure that everyone is made very welcome.”

John Taylor, a fairground modeller from Hailsham, sees Hollycombe as his favourite event of the year.

He said: “I always have fun at Hollycombe, so much so that I also attend the model weekend in early September.

“For the fairground weekend I’ll be displaying a model Speedway Arc Ride with swing boats and transport.”

Hollycombe trustee Brian Gooding said: “Our fairground and vintage organ weekend is a must for anyone who enjoys good old-fashioned entertainment.

“The many visiting rides and organs will be displayed in and around our traditional fairground to create a unique spectacle. The rides, models and displays appeal to all tastes. We will be opening up our restoration works shed to display many of the models under cover. We have extended the number of models due to their popularity.”

Outside in the fairground, the tunes from the vintage fairground organs will create a welcoming atmosphere.

With many of the organs dating back to the late 19th century, visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds that delighted Victorian ancestors. Among the organs on display will be early 1880s organettes, hand-turned street organs and 89 key Gavioli and Marenghi Organs.

Brian said: “Many of our exhibitors travel hundreds of miles to attend. They enjoy meeting our visitors and take great pleasure in seeing their excited faces. With steam, colour and music, there’s lots to see and do.”