The future of funfairs has been thrown into doubt by the coronavirus crisis.

Steven Hill, who operates fairs at the County Ground and in the town centre, has had a number of his events cancelled since lockdown began.

He said if the government does not ease its rules soon he could struggle to survive.

The 53-year-old said: “This is my only business, I lost my Easter places in the town centre and Coate Water.

“We did operate for two weeks in early March at the Link Centre but then the lockdown came in and we’ve been shut ever since with no other income.

“We’re lucky enough. We’ve spoken to our finance companies and they’ve held payments off until July but there are a lot of difficulties.

“As with every other business, if we don’t get back operating the showmen and the funfairs could be off the road for good.”

But Steven is hopeful some fairs will be able to take tentative steps towards returning once the government's Covid-19 alert system reaches level three.

He explained: “Hopefully fairgrounds will be back in stage three of the government’s plans, unless the R rate goes up and things go back to lockdown.

“At the moment we’ve been closed for 10 weeks, we’ve had to cancel everything until the government gives us the green light.

“We’re working on how we’ll reopen and how we can operate safely but we’re waiting for the guidelines to come.”

Steven is a seventh-generation showman, following a family tradition of running his own funfairs.

He says he has been speaking with Swindon Borough Council to make sure he can access his usual venues when the time comes for him to return.

“I am in contact with the council and those in charge of the town centre,” he added.

“So hopefully towards the latter end of the year we may get small fairs open with social distancing, fencing and things like that.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to. We’re in June now, so we’ve had three months of nothing.

“But we’re maintaining the rides and doing work on them all the time to keep us occupied because we’ve not got much else to do.

“I’m hoping the council work with me and we can get a site at Lydiard Park, the town centre and the County Ground when lockdown is eased a bit.”

When asked whether he had any concerns about fewer people visiting the fair in future, Steven brushed it off .

He said: “I’m not worried. People won’t come out so we’ll have to have reduced numbers anyway.

"We’ll have to implement social distancing and get it right for the public as well as the staff.”