Charlie Pink of Brisbane all set up with his rides at this year's North Coast National.
Charlie Pink of Brisbane all set up with his rides at this year's North Coast National. Doug Eaton

Third generation showman sets up at North Coast National

CHARLIE Pink was born into the life of a travelling showman, but the children's show ride owner wouldn't change a thing.

"My dad used to do the show circuit, and his father before him," Mr Pink said.

"I was born into this life."

With just two days until the North Coast National opens its gates to the public, there was plenty of buzz going on at Side show Alley yesterday with Mr Pink and other sideshow owners setting up their rides and stalls.

Mr Pink and his "kiddies' rides" rolled into town from Brisbane on Monday and the flashing lights and teacups look like they'll be turning the heads of plenty of children this weekend.

The big kids won't be disappointed either, with rides for the more adventurous or the romantic nearly all set up, too.

While travelling from place to place might not be everyone's cup of tea, being on the sideshow circuit has more perks than some people give it credit for, said John Flood, who was setting up his balloon dart stall beside Mr Pink's teacup ride.

Mr Flood left his job as a chef in Sydney to join the sideshow circuit.

"I love travelling the countryside and being able to meet all the families who are visiting the shows," Mr Flood said.

After 65 years in the business, Mr Pink dispelled myths about the safety of sideshow rides.

Some people say they are unsafe because they are assembled and disassembled frequently.

"These rides are much safer than those that are stationary because they are inspected and looked at closely when they're packed up and must be registered to be taken to a show," Mr Pink said.

He also was adamant that after almost 80 years of Pink family members being part of country shows, society had not outgrown the institution.

"It's still as popular as it was when my grandfather started.

"It has kept its popularity for a long time because like the shows once were years ago, it's an opportunity for people to show off their wares and each show is reflective of the area."



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