2017 Update : We are pleased to say that these rules have now changed, and the Guild has seen sense not to allow their members to claim guild rights on Corporate Events. If the event is for invited guests only then there can be no Guild Rights claimed, we are waiting on clarification if the event has public attending it. We are grateful these rules have been changed as we are not members of the Guild and rely purely on providing a good service to get repeat events, not dictating to an organiser they have to book us.
The rules used to say
please do not think it only applies to public land or public events as this is not true, these rules are applied to anywhere in the UK even the Queens back garden.
There are 2 main rules
1. Established rights
2. Time and distance
To outline the basic rules from the Guild book but at the time of writing this and we know page numbers will change
Page 104, “Established Right of Tenure at Fairs”
To establish the rights all a guild member has to do is attend any “event” for 2 years in a row. an event can be anything from a public event in the local park to private land, crown property anywhere and is attended by the public. This will mean that if the event is to happen on the 3rd or any year, whilst you are free to book all the other services you want, you are not free to choose your rides and have to book the same showman. This means you are not free to choose which rides you have at your event. Even if it is the first year you are organising the event, if it happened the previous 2 years someone will have rights to it. Please remember this is a rule within the Showmans Guild, so does not affect non members of the Guild.
Time and Distance
This one is more confusing, Page 110 Restrictions on Attending Rival Fairs, it says “A member shall not within a period of 4 weeks before the opening of a fair at which established rights exist or within 22 days after the opening if the fair is still open, hold, occupy, let or take ground or position at any other fair within 2 miles”
Which means you cannot have 2 fairs within 2 miles, so if you have a party or event planned and on the day the rides are due to arrive and find out that another fair is within 2 miles of them (or will be in the next month) they will have to pull out of your event. This was proven at Ware Herts when a company in the town wanted a private party and could not have rides as the carnival that was planned 3 weeks later had rides.For breaking any of the above rules the fine is up to £2,000 per ride.
This has caused a lot of problems as you may not be aware the event has had rides before and in good faith ring someone for a quote, you book in the person you rang and a week before the event they find out there is rights on it the chances are he will cancel and not attend the event. This would leave you in an embarrassing position to explain to your client why they have no rides.
If a Guild member loses an event then an advert is placed in Showmans newspaper to inform other members.