Words by Ed King & Liam Smith / Pics by Ed King
Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair comes back to Pype Hayes Park this week, opening its gates for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns.
Running from Saturday 29 May to Sunday 6 June, the funfair is open to families from 12noon until 7:30pm everyday – with classic rides for both children and adults, alongside carnival stalls and refreshments.
Following the announcement of the event’s return via social media, hundreds of local residents took to the funfair’s Facebook page – many looking forward to the event after widespread closures and cancellations.
Michaela Aichaoui said: “Excellent news, perfect timing for my daughter’s birthday week.”
Adam Edwards added: “I’m heading down to the fair on Saturday, might even see some old faces from back in the day?”
Another local mum, Raychel Hetherington, said: “We’re coming my special needs lad loves how u all treat him here.”
Hosting events across Birmingham for over 30 years, Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair has been a regular fixture on the city’s cultural calendar – operating from large Council owned parks such as Pype Hayes, Small Heath, Cannon Hill, and Acocks Green.
But since the pandemic all events were put on hold, with Pype Hayes Park the first place to welcome back the Family Funfair since the Government began easing restrictions – returning to the site where the event was last held in 2019.
Speaking directly to Erdington Local, Pype Hayes resident Lailla Silini said: “A fair at Pype Hayes park has been a welcomed event since I was very little girl and still brings a day of enjoyment for many families.
“An affordable day out compared to themed parks and I really hope the weather holds out for them to get some money into their pockets.”
Ruth White added: “It’s nice to see some normality again, something for the kids in the area to look forward to. I hope this is the first of many events in Pype Hayes/Erdington this summer.”
But coronavirus was not the only challenge for the team behind the Family Funfair, as a week of torrential rain and sudden downpours had organisers working around the clock to ensure the event was operational in time.
Thankfully as the half term holiday week approached the bad weather eased up, allowing the crew to complete rigorous checks across the site and open as planned.
Robert Wilkinson, founder and operator of Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair, told Erdington Local:
“The funfair has been out of action for 18 months and this is the first event we’ve been able to put on since the pandemic hit – we’re excited to be coming back to Pype Hayes, bringing the families of Erdington a safe and fun event that they can enjoy together.
“The past year has been hard, people have lost jobs and loved ones, and we’re operating under Covid safe conditions to make sure safety is our top priority.
“People deserve a chance to smile and have fun as a family and that’s also what we’re here to do. So come down and enjoy yourselves; we’d be thrilled to see you in Pype Hayes Park this half term holiday week.”
For more on Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair at Pype Hayes Park, or to watch out for further events across the city, visit www.facebook.com/Robert-Wilkinsons-Family-Funfair-Birmingham-385221918652307