IT’S every child’s dream – being let loose on a funfair where every ride is free.
Around 1,500 children were given a sneak preview of all the fun that’s in store this weekend for the Sultan Summer Show – one of the biggest family events of the calendar.
Children had a whale of a time as they went on the waltzers, rode on the back of a motorbike and toured cutting-edge helicopters.
Many of the children were disabled or disadvantaged and sailors at HMS Sultan in Gosport gave them reason to smile as they dressed up as pirates.
Children from Belorussia – which was badly affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster – also enjoyed the Children’s Party spectacular.
Marie and Barry Tree went with their children, Zara, 11, Markus, eight and Aaron, nine.
Mrs Tree said: ‘Aaron has Down Syndrome and we heard about the party through the Footprints Down Syndrome Support Group.
‘It’s great to come to an event where the majority of the children have disabilities. The kids were really excited.’
Callum Snell, seven, from Fareham, attended with his brothers, Aden 10, Jamie 12, sister Emily, six, and his mum Amy Snell and her partner Tony Grinter.
Callum said: ‘Tomorrow I am eight years old and this is an early start to my birthday.
‘My mum told me that I was going out for a surprise but I had no idea I was coming here.
‘The bumper cars were great and the pirates were very funny as they tried to get catch me. I still have to wait till tomorrow for my cake but this is excellent!’
Captain Trevor Gulley, commanding officer of HMS Sultan, said: ‘It’s fantastic.
‘The weather has been kind to us this year.
‘It’s about engaging with the local community and the forces giving something back to the community.
‘HMS Sultan and the Royal Navy are no different.’
He laughed: ‘I was forced on the waltzers. The bumper cars are definitely the most popular. There’s a large queue.’
The summer show is open today and tomorrow from 10am to 6pm.