It's like breaking into the crag. Sennen in February, out-of-season. You duck under the barbed wire of rain, dodge the clifftop gale until you find a muddy gully, obscured by jostling boulders trying to sell tickets to day-trippers who've come for the spectacle. The blocs elbow each other, gaberdines on, collars up, grey with glints of bling.
You're through. Next, Big Wheel of the descent, up and over giant rocks, water pooling in cradle-chairs of granite, fixed in place, over-wintering. A white-grey tarpaulin of cloud drapes the whole apparatus. You don't care. Tear at the toggles and slip under. Clamber down the framework. The waves are huge. Their howling overwhelming. They circle and leap at you, security dogs hemmed in by the stone fence. Slobbering. Any closer and they'll bite. You perch, coconut-like, on a wet slab of rock.
Below and to the right is the main fairground. It is shut. Shrouded in the tarp, clumps of seafoam whip over like old candyfloss. Where are the crowds? That music of human chatter, metal clatter of hexes and quickdraws? Each ride with its own bespoke soundtrack of laughter and screaming - the ghost train of Samson Arête, merry-go-round of Demo Route, wincing comedy of Tears of a Clown. All those Bananas to slip on! Surely it's time for the electricity of sunlight? Flick of the switch - a thousand bulbs, crystal intrusions, sparkling, turning the platform into a golden amusement park.
Nothing. It is closed. It has been closed for months and it is still closed. You knew this, when you broke in.
The author would like to thank Rowlands Funfair, who were kind enough to grant permission to photograph their equipment.
Sarah-Jane's book, A Feeling for Rock, is out now.
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