Winning At The Funfair Part 1

How To Win On The Hoopla Game

This is the first part of our series of short tips on winning at the funfair. There is no way to guarantee a win, but there are tips to increase your chances.

The hoopla is one of the oldest games on the fair. Basically you need to throw a ring over a cube. The cube usually has a prize on the top which you win. The first thing you need to be aware of is that the ring must go completely over the cube. It must pay flat on the table to count as a win. Many people don’t read the rules and think just getting it over the prize is good enough.

Can It Be Done

Now popular opinion is that the rings are not big enough to go over the blocks. To be fair, this is a false belief. If you ask the operator, he will usually demonstrate that it can be fitted over. There is however one point to be aware of. The blocks with the expensive prizes on tend to be fractionally larger than the blocks with the cheap prizes. This ensures that whilst it is possible to win, the odds are much easier on the smaller blocks. This allows enough prizes to trickle out to let people see you can win, but prevents the operator being bankrupted by someone winning say a Nintendo playstation every 5 minutes.

Billy  Butlin, the man famous for starting the Butlins holiday empire actually used to operate this type of game on the funfair, but he had many more of the smaller blocks than was standard so that prizes were being won at a much greater rate, he discovered that the increase in custom more than offset the higher operating costs.

How Can I Win

So is there anything you can do to increase your chances of winning. Only really 2 things, aim for the smaller prizes as it will be easier to win them, When you throw the ring, flick your wrist so that the ring is spinning. What this can do, is catch the edge of a block, then as it continues to spin it works its way into position to drop over the block and win.

injured kermit

Funfair Safety

Safety At The Funfair

One of the most important things to think about when visiting a funfair or theme park, is the safety aspect. Often when you visit you have your children with you, the most important people in your world. So just how safe is it at a modern funfair.

Well, depends who you listen to, according to the popular press, a bloodbath is lurking just around the corner of any funfair.  The Health and Safety Executive, those people responsible for actually ensuring funfairs are safe, you are far more likely to be injured on the way to the fair, than you are at the event.

But how do we go about ensuring this?

Design Review

Any ride being operated  must be in receipt of either a design review clearance, or a maturity risk assessment. The former is prepared by a specialist engineer, who calculates the stresses and strains, build materials, control systems etc, and produces a safety plan, containing maintenance schedules, operating limits etc.

The second option, is for older rides that have been operated for considerable periods. The reasoning being these rides have been around for so long, any  problems, will have been ironed out years ago.

The maturity certificates are being phased out, so everything will eventually comply with design review.

This ensures a high level of safety right from the outset.

ADIPS Inspections

However, everything deteriorates with time. Eventually, any ride starts to have minor issues, how they are dealt with is crucial.

All rides are subject to an “annual MOT”. This is carried out by an independent engineer who issues an ADIPS certificate.

The Amusement Device Inspection Procedure Scheme was set up to ensure that rides are regularly inspected for safety issues. The inspection consists of electrical safety, mechanical safety and in some cases NDT ultrasound. NDT is a method of using ultrasound to discover microscopic cracks in metal framework. This would indicate a ride being over-stressed, and could lead to severe failure.

Any ride not carrying an up to date certificate, isn’t allowed to operate.

Daily Check Records

The ADIPS scheme has been shown to work well. However 12 monthly intervals leave a considerable scope for issues to develop between inspections. This is where the daily check system comes into play. Any attraction must be inspected by the operator, each day before it is operated. These inspection must be recorded in a daily record book, along with any issues found and the work carried out to rectify the problem

What We Cant Control

Sadly there is one aspect of health and safety we have little control over. That is the behaviour of the public. We can do everything within our powers to make the attractions totally safe, but if someone is determined to win a Darwin Award, there isn’t much we can do to stop them.

A Mini Cooper with a photo booth built in.

Mini Cooper Photo Booth Hire

Jasper Is Our Classic Mini  Photo Booth

The world has moved on from a photo booth in a box. Well some of us have. Nowadays booths come in all shapes and sizes. London taxi cabs, telephone booths, even Del Boy Trotters 3 wheeled van. One of our most popular lines is our classic Mini Cooper photo booth.

Jasper, is a fun quirky option, particularly popular with events for younger clients, such as Bar Mitzvahs and birthday parties.

Tatton Park

We recently supplied Jasper for a bar mitzvah in Tatton Parks, Tenants Hall. A stunning venue dating from medieval times. We needed to get Jasper into the Tenants hall for Zak’s Bar Mitzvah. Of course it wasnt as simple as that, it never is. We needed to lay protection down to prevent damage to the floor. We had to maneuver Jasper through dozens of tables and chairs, whilst avoiding the dance floor. Oh and the reserved space was as far from the entrance as it possibly could be.

As per usual, persistence, patience, and some deft steering saw us safely set up and waiting for the guests. Many of our events start with an Oh Crap moment, when we see what we have to do. But usually after a minutes thought and some planning we just get on with it.

One of the unusual features we noticed, was the room decoration. The walls were covered with the heads, and skins of dozens of exotic animals from far flung corners of the British Empire. I bet the local deer in Tatton Parks estate are mightily relieved that hunting is no longer considered acceptable in polite circles.

Our mini cooper photo booth in position alongside Zaks bar
Jasper In Position Near Zak’s Bar
Mini Cooper booth with props
Props for the guests use at the Bar Mitzvah
Stuffed Heads At Tatton Park
Stuffed Heads At Tatton Park
More Stuffed Heads At Tatton Park
More Stuffed Heads At Tatton Park
Harley Davidson Engine Plate

Harley Davidson Owners Group Cider Rally 2018

Harley Davidson Owners Group (HOGS)

We recently travelled down to Weston Super Mare with The Duke, our wild west stagecoach. This was for a wild west evening at the Harley Davidson Owners Group Cider Rally 2018.

Although we are fast car and aircraft fans, we can certainly appreciate the engineering, and style of the Harley Davidson Bikes. The paintwork and gleaming chrome must have taken hours to polish to the standards on display.

Similarly, being V8 engine fans, we weren’t expecting much, but to be honest that Harley engine has a fabulous note. I don’t think we will be swapping our company transport in just yet, but we wouldn’t rule the possibility out at some point in the future of looking into acquiring a classic Harley. Probably one of the larger tourers rather than the sports models.

The Duke

Our wild west stagecoach is totally unique in the UK, and as far as we can tell Europe. Being built into a full sized replica Concord stagecoach. Fitted with sound effects, western props, and cowboy music, it went down a treat. I think the bikers are perhaps keeping the romance of the old west alive.

Anyway here are a few shots of some of the bikes we came across resplendent in various custom paint colours;

The Birth Of A Prince

A New Prince Is Born

When Princess Charlotte was born back in 2015, we were contracted to roll up outside the hospital and dispense teas and coffee to the paparazzi. Once the birth was announced we switch to prosecco. The day went down well, especially with said paps.

Once more Unto The Breach

We were contacted for a repeat performance at the new birth. As a result we had been on standby for the past couple of weeks waiting on Kate.

The call came through early morning and resulted in a slapstick worthy of Dad’s Army. The famous Corporal Jones cries of dont panic as we rushed around like headless chickens to set off for London. Half a mile down the road saw one of the female staff members in an almighty panic because she had forgotten to pick up her bag.  She absolutely, positively couldnt spend a day in London without it. So after a U turn and a rapid return to base we finally got under way.

The trip down was brilliant with no traffic. We were set up and dispensing water to the waiting press as the minutes to the birthing announcement counted down.  Then eventually it was released, a new prince was born.

The day went pretty much the same as last time with plenty of presecco, teas and coffees passed out, some good media coverage for Ladbrokes (the client) and us getting back to our Yorkshire base about 12 hours after we set off.



Wild West Photo Booth Hire

Wild West Photo Booth Hire

The Duke, is our wild west stagecoach photo booth for hire. Built into a full sized replica Concorde stagecoach, (Think John Wayne). This is one of our totally unique offerings, because as far as we know this is the only booth in a stagecoach in Europe.

The Stagecoach

After spending around 6 months with an expert joiner on the build, we finally rolled it out complete. A visit from an artist to decorate it in the style of a Wells and Fargo stage saw it finished off ready for the launch.

Actually being able to sit in it made you begin to appreciate just how hardy those early pioneers was. Imagine travelling thousands of miles in a cramped coach with upto 16 other people was an ordeal.

In the movies, the stage would regularly outrun Indians and bandits. In reality, it was called a stage, because it used to travel in stages, swapping teams of horses at each stage. A stage would be perhaps 12 miles, so you can imagine how long travel would take.

The Booth

We added sound effects, props, decoration, and staff dressed as cowboys. Add in the prints themed as mini wanted posters, and you have a cracking booth for any event, but unbeatable for wild west parties.

To complement the booth we created a range of games units, this provides a complete wild west entertainment package.

A photo booth built into a wild west stage coach
Stagecoach Photo Booth
Old Wild West Saloon Bar For Hire
Wild West Shooting Saloon
Wild West Games Unit
Wild West Games Stall
Race Lace Explanation

Pink Candy Floss Cart And Race For Life

Tesco Banks Pink Candy Floss

Tesco Bank commissioned us to supply a number of special pink candy floss carts.  This coincided with the turning tesco pink promotion.


This aims to help recruit staff members to the Race For Life scheme operated by Cancer Research U.K. A fabulous charity helping to raise funds to investigate all 200 types of cancer.

A brilliantly quirky new touch are their #racelace shoe laces. Basically after signing up for the race for life, you swap one of your laces for a pink one.  This signifies your support for the charity. Although the race for life is a women only event, our MD and other staff members changed their laces in support.

Tesco asked for a number of candy floss carts giving out floss to the staff members. Our normal carts are decorated in a white and gold scheme. After finding out what the promotion was, we re-branded them in a pink scheme.

Pink Candy Floss Cart For Hire
Pink Candy Floss Cart For Hire
Candy Floss Logo
Candy Floss Logo
Race Lace Explanation
Explanation of the race lace promotion for Cancer Research
CRUK with candy floss
CRUK staff member with candy floss
Race Lace pink boot lace.
Our M.D.’s new pink boot lace.

#racelace #thisisbeatingcancer #crukeventsscot

Tuk Tuk Photo Booth Hire

Indian Tuk Tuk Photo Booth Hire

One of our increasingly popular photo booth lines is our Tuk Tuk photo booth. Hailing from the Indian state of Gujerat. Originally plying its trade as a taxi service before we waved our magic wand and transformed it into a super party line.

Themed Asian Decor

Draped with asian decor, and fitted with a bhangra sound system. It was originally intended for the Asian wedding market. However it is even more popular with couples that have spent time abroad and used tuk tuk’s for transport.

Like all of our booths, it comes with a guest book, custom themed prints and a box of fun props making it super fun.

Visit Our Photo Booth SIte For More Details

Tuk Tuk Photo Booth For Hire
Our Indian Tuk Tuk, At Its Launch Event

Churros Cart Hire, Another Super Dessert

Churros Cart Hire, The Spanish Doughnut

Another in our planned rollout of dessert carts with a more international flavour. We present Churros Cart Hire.  Churros are Spanish finger doughnuts. Frosted with sugar and served with our usual range of sauces, sprinkles and Nutella. These are a great alternative to the usual ring doughnuts.

A Perfect Complement

Traditionally in Spain, Churros are served with hot chocolate. Add one of our hot chocolate carts to make a perfect reception treat for your event.

Cadbury’s is still our most popular drinking chocolate, but we also offer Charbonnel Et Walker for those wanting an upmarket touch.

History Of Churros

Traditionally eaten in Spain and Portugal, as well as the Southwestern U.S. and France. Normally eaten for breakfast their origin is unclear. One theory suggests the Portuguese brought them  from China. The new pastry soon crossed the border into Spain, where it was modified to be pulled through a star shaped die, giving them their distinctive shape.

You can have delicious Churros, with our without hot chocolate on any of our range of themed catering carts, an ideal treat for weddings and parties, as well as corporate events.

Churros cart hire near me with chocolate dip
Churros With Chocolate Dip



A Few Tips When Hiring Dodgems For Your Event

Hiring dodgems, or bumper cars, as they are known in some parts of the country, are easily the most popular funfair ride available for events. Like most things in life, there is a vast range of rides available for hire. So you have a number of choices to make when specifying dodgems.

What Type Of Dodgems To Hire

The first option, is to determine whether you need the traditional English style dodgem track, or the more modern continental version. The difference, is that the traditional track comes totally dismantled. This allows it to be carried over obstructions, up stairs, or through narrow entrances. This means this ride can access virtually any venue. The downside is that the set up time is easily double that of the more modern counterpart. The newer version of the ride, comes folded up onto a centre truck. This is driven into position, then folds out, in the main using hydraulic power. The ride is far quicker to set up and dismantle, tends to be more highly decorated, with better sound and lighting systems. The only real drawback, is that the ride must be driven into position, so its limited as to where it can be used.

In the dark ages, before the internet was formed from the primordial cyberspace, the usual method of hiring a dodgem ride, would have been looking through the Yellow Pages, personal recommendation, or visiting a funfair and asking the ride owner there about a deal. Nowadays 10 minutes on the internet can source a multitude of rides at a vastly differing set of prices.  Indeed dodgems can be hired for less now than they were probably ten years ago.

So this is great, you find dodgems online, book the cheapest ride and away you go. Sadly not, like anything else lowest price is not always the best option. There is a vast selection of dodgem rides. Ranging from state of the art fabulousness, to something you would be frightened to ride. Price isnt always the main way of telling them apart.

Things To Check Before Hiring

If you are dealing online, without seeing the actual ride, then you need to take steps to help prevent you being stuck with a lemon. First, ask for pictures of the actual ride you will be hiring. Any reputable operator should be able to supply fairly hi resolution images. That will give you a fell for what you are getting. Ask how many cars it comes with, 14-16 is the industry standard, yet some operators will give you a much lower price, then turn up with 5 or 6 cars. Make sure the ride comes with lights and music, again, all rides should have these.  Ensure there is a top cover over the ride, and that it will be fitted, dodgems can be used in the wet, but not if the operator leaves the top covering off to save himself the work of fitting it.

Legal Documents

It goes without saying that the operator should be able to provide public liability insurance, but he should also send you risk assessments, fire assessments and method statements, they are all legal requirements, and if he hasnt got them then walk away. The final document you need is the ADIPS certificate. This stands for the Amusement Device Inspection Procedure Scheme. An Independant engineer issues this when he carries out the rides annual safety inspections. If this isn’t available, don’t walk away, run.

A few simple questions should give you a feel for how legit the guy you are dealing with is. If he cant supply something or keep promising it and it never turns up, then can you really trust him to do a professional job on the day? Remember the bitterness of poor service lingers long after the sweetness of low price fades.”


Dodgem car with young girl and mum
Dodgems For Hire