THIS WEEK IN 1979: Clampdown on funfairs: report to council urges new by-laws

Flashback to the night of tragedy, showing the chairplane involved in the fatal accident
Flashback to the night of tragedy, showing the chairplane involved in the fatal accident
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No further approvals should be granted for fairground ‘mechanical rides’on council land until new by-laws are prepared by Portsmouth City Council and discussions have taken place with the Showmen’s Guild.

That was a recommendation from the Portsmouth City Secretary and Solicitor to the Leisure Services Committee, which would go before the City Council in a week’s time, following the fatal accident at the King George V playing fields on November 5, in 1978.

The fatality occured during the IBM and Portsmouth Corporation Bonfire Night funfair; a whirling chairplane spun into the ground, killing 18-year-old Karen Bailey, of Cosham, and injuring 13 other revellers.

At that time a police officer said it appeared that part of the machinery of the Disco Spin had sheared, and the chairs had toppled and cartwheeled into the ground.

Immediately, Portsmouth Leisure Committee chairman, Charles Mos, promised a full investigation and vowed that ‘all fairground equipment coming into the city will be double-checked.’

Mr Mos told The News: ‘We must do everything that we can to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again.’