The Hoppings' mini model show continues a big Newcastle tradition

A tiny fairground world is set to prove a big added attraction at The Hoppings this weekend - if visitors know where to look.

A display of mini working models of fairground rides has been a part of The Hoppings tradition for more than 20 years but families may miss out on it amid the general hustle and bustle of the fair. Model maker Paul Needham, from Leeds, will be back on the Town Moor on Saturday where he will be joined by fellow model-makers and their creations for this year's one-off display.

A range of models - tiny versions of popular rides - will be exhibited in the fairground operators' on-site bar for the day. The western-theme bar, adjoining a picnic table area and not to be confused with the Feast Street food village's public bar near the music stage, is used by staff in the evenings but at day-time during the fair's run it is open to everyone for non-alcohol sales.

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Here, the models will be undercover in case the weather takes a turn for the worse and families are invited to pay a visit to take in the remarkable details of the colourful rides, such as the Miami, Kaleidoscope and Paul's popular waltzer: all working models complete with movement and lights. Some include tiny versions of onlookers watching on too.

The model display has been running far longer at The Hoppings than new attractions, such as the food village, have been in existence and it has become a fairground tradition in itself. Paul organises the annual display which can include work by talents from across the country and even Scotland and has said: “The show has been held continuously since 2003 on either the first or second Saturday of the fair.

“The children especially love the lights and movement of the miniature machines.” Following its 2003 debut, the exhibition, which is free entry, later took on the name of the Albert Austin Memorial Fairground Model Show in memory of the late fairground manager and surveyor who first welcomed it to the Town Moor.

Paul will be in Newcastle early on Saturday morning to help set up the display and it will be on show throughout the day. The Hoppings itself will continue until June 30.