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Fairground knowledge leads to interior design excellence

17 June 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

Local travelling showwoman thanks family business for degree success  

A travelling showwoman who has spent her life entertaining the lives of thousands through her family’s funfair business has used her expertise to train in interior design at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Kimberly Cubbins, a fifth generation member of the famous Cubbins family which has run funfairs around the North West and beyond for more than 100 years, is exhibiting her final piece of work as part of the University’s annual Degree Show exhibition and will graduate in July.

The 35-year-old, who went down a less traditional educational path with most of her schooling done at home, completed access courses and a foundation degree in art at UCLan before embarking on her three-year degree. She said spending her formative years learning on the job designing and building rides have given her a better grounding for a career in interior design.

 

"Interior design is all about creating an impression and an atmosphere and that’s exactly what we try and do on a fair ground.”

“I come from a very hard working background and as soon as I was old enough I helped to build rides and I understood how they were designed and put together. This knowledge has been passed down the generations and I have channelled it into my degree studies. Interior design is all about creating an impression and an atmosphere and that’s exactly what we try and do on a fair ground.”

Kimberly’s interior design passion still lies with the leisure industry and she has even worked with renowned Lancashire fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway on a project to regenerate the Dreamland theme park in Margate, Kent.

She commented: “I heard about the project and knew I had something to offer. I contacted Wayne to tell him about my experiences of growing up as a travelling showwoman and my ambition to become an interior designer and he offered me an internship last summer working on the regeneration scheme developing vintage style visuals for a possible archive centre.”

 

“The hard work I’ve put in over the last four years is finally paying off and my success shows that you don’t always need a traditional education to do well in life.”

Kimberly’s vast knowledge has been invaluable for her final piece of work which has been to suggest redevelopment proposals for the disused lido in Grange-over-Sands near Morecambe. She has spent the last year coming up with ways to breathe new life into the popular 1930s socialising venue by designing a series of rustic saunas, ice pools and a health and wellbeing centre that would blend the lido into the landscape and allow visitors to enjoy the views across Morecambe Bay.

“I wanted to keep the idea that the lido was always more than a swimming pool, it was a place for people to meet and socialise back in the 1930s. My design is very much influenced by Nordic communities and the saunas and plunge pools would all be made of natural materials to complement its surroundings,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly will spend the summer working for the family business, which is a member of the Showman’s Guild of Great Britain, on events including several North West club days and the Isle of Wight Music Festival before turning her attention back to interior design in the leisure industry.

The budding interior designer, who has already attracted interest from a hotel designer, added: “The hard work I’ve put in over the last four years is finally paying off and my success shows that you don’t always need a traditional education to do well in life.”