WHIZZING round at top speed was just what these youngsters wanted.

And they seem to be enjoying every frightening moment of it.

This was the scene at St Giles Fair in 1984 when, in the foreground, from the left, Marcus Palmer, 12, Nicholas Evans, 12, Catherine Evans, nine, and Lindsey Palmer, nine, took a deep breath and sailed in the air.

We don’t know the names of the three older high fliers at the back, but they, too, seem to be thoroughly enjoying the ride.

Showmen at the fair that year, however, were rather less happy, blaming education chiefs for hitting their takings and spoiling their young customers’ fun.

Children had still been on holiday on Monday, the first day of the fair, but went back to school for the start of the autumn term on Tuesday, the fair’s second day.

To make matters worse, heavy rain had started to fall at 6.45pm on Monday, severely cutting attendances and forcing some stalls to close early.

Arthur Stevens, national vice-president of the Showman’s Guild, told the Oxford Mail that it was unfortunate that youngsters had to return to school when the fair was still in full swing.

Mr Stevens, in charge of the helter skelter at the junction of Woodstock Road and Banbury Road, said: “We can’t control the weather, but it would be more helpful if the education department could exempt children so they could enjoy the final day of the fair.”

A county council spokes-man said: “Children had the first day of the fair off.

“We have to get in 190 school days in a calendar year.!”

He added: “It is very difficult to take in St Giles Fair when it affects only city schools.”