Tributes paid to funfair king Rayner Fletcher, who has died aged 51

Rayner Fletcher
Rayner Fletcher
18 July 2017 12:18PM

Funfair king Rayner Fletcher has died at the age of 51.

The owner of Silloth’s fair had been battling cancer for the past two years.

Mr Fletcher was a third generation fairground owner. His fairs went everywhere including, in recent years, to Ireland.

The family holidayed in Silloth each year. When the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001 caused the cancellation of the funfair in some areas, he established the fair at Silloth which remains there each year from Easter to August.

Mr Fletcher was born in Newcastle but moved to Maryport as an infant and grew up there.

He took over the family business when his father died at the age of 60.

His death has shocked the community and especially his neighbours in King Street, Maryport.

Moree Weir, landlady of the Sailor’s Return, Mr Fletcher’s local, said: “We are devastated. He was just magic, a complete legend. He was liked by everyone and never had a bad word to say.”

Mr Fletcher was known for his inability to say no, even when he got a knock on the door or a phone call in the middle of the night from someone needing help.

His wife Joyce said: “Wherever he could help he did. The fair business has changed over the years. Now we mainly go to carnivals and music festivals. He really enjoyed that though.

“He would never let anyone down. If he couldn’t attend an event he would find someone who could.”

He died on Sunday morning.

“I told the boys that they did not need to go to an event in Keswick where we were due to be,” Mrs Fletcher recalled. “But they said they were going, because that’s what Rayner would have wanted.”

She said she has been overwhelmed at the support of the workers and other fair owners who have offered to step in wherever needed.

The Fletcher fair will continue and when the family is on holiday, they will still look at other fairs.

A service for Mr Fletcher will be held at St Mary’s Church, Netherhall Corner, at midday on Wednesday.

He is survived by his mother Margaret, wife Joyce, daughters Cherie, Dominique, Courtney and son Rayner.

The family has asked for donations to the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust Charitable Fund for the ENT department of the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.

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