1990 — 2000
The fair was more popular than ever with 87 shows and rides opening in 1992. That year the opening ceremony took place on the front of Terry Storey’s Orton and Spooner Noah’s Ark which was over 60 years old at the time and still sported the original animals and old-style front together with an outside paybox. The ceremony as ever was followed by the National Anthem and a blessing by the Reverend J. A. Bagshaw. World’s Fair 16th October 1992:
Each year it is said that Hull’s annual October fair is the biggest ever, but as the local council continues to make room for more attractions, each year seems to see a bigger and better event than the previous year.
This year’s recorded once again, no less that 87 rides and shows making Hull Fair of 1992 the biggest ever. Indeed, it was the biggest ever collection of fairground equipment seen in the United Kingdom on any fairground or amusement park.
Hull fair opened for eight days on the Walton Street tober from Friday 9th October. The annual opening ceremony saw the civic party making its way to one of the oldest rides at the fair this year, the Orton and Spooner Noah’s Ark, presented by Terry Storey. The over 60 year old ride, still sports its original animals and old-style front, together with an outside pay box. It is many years since the ride last appeared in this particular guise, its last being as a Waltzer in 1987.
1999 saw the 700th anniversary of Hull Fair Charter celebrated in style. An exhibition "ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR" was organised from the 16th-17th OCTOBER, 1999. Throughout the city of Kingston upon Hull people were celebrating the 700th anniversary of the City’s Charter, with a series of celebrations promoting the city and raising awareness of both its innovative achievements of the past and potential for the future. The strategic importance of Hull, first recognised by Edward I 700 years ago when he granted the city a Royal Charter, was still very much in evidence.
In recognition of the diverse and varied history of the fair, Hull City Council in association with World’s Fair newspapers, and the National Fairground Archive planned a major exhibition celebrating the history of travelling fairs over the centuries to be held at the City Hall on the 16th and 17th of October. The interior of the City Hall was transformed into a fairground in miniature, as modellers, trade exhibitors and individual collectors mounted a display of antique fairground artefacts, models and photographs. A showmen’s traction engine, built in the early part of this century, was installed outside the City Hall to greet visitors to the Extravaganza. The National Fairground Archive brought items from the collection including a mounted exhibition covering the history of Hull Fair and other panels of all aspects of the fairground community. Stephen Smith of the Fairground Society planned and arranged the display of antique and historic artefacts from private collectors throughout the United Kingdom, including many items from his own collection. Fairground Art by Edwin Hall was brought by Lawrence Harper in the shape of the extension front from Ashley’s Ark. There was a Markland round stall and other work brought from Dingle’s Museum in Devon by Michael Smith former World’s Fair correspondent and past resident of Hull. Russell Cook is presented the Jonah and Whale Spinner centre acquired from the Wookey Hole sale. Other exhibits included Moonrocket figures from Howard Maden, painted panels from Mick and Amanda Keeling and carved work from Jack Schofield and Stephen Smith’s private collections.
One of the most interesting and special items on display was the original Chicken Joe spinner stall still in the ownership of the Ling family which was once a favourite with the people of Hull. Returning to Hull for the first time since 1962 it has been loaned especially for the event by the family of the late John Ling. The stall is still in its original 1930s decoration and is being presented with an exhibition paying tribute to John Ling who died earlier this year. Chicken Joe or Joe Barak, was a showman based in Yorkshire who regularly attended the fair in the 1930s and 1940s, when he ran the stall for Ling's Family amusements. Despite the array of rides, shows and games that were presented at Hull Fair over the years, the name that many locals recall when reminiscing about the fair is Chicken Joe and this was a unique opportunity to see the original stall which had not been seen in Hull since Joe Barak’s retirement in 1962.
Hull City Council arranged plaques to be given to the best exhibits and displays in the City Hall and all proceeds of the event went to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. In celebrating the city's 700th year, everyone also looked forward to the next 700 years with justifiable confidence and enthusiasm.