Goose Fair the longest running fair in the country was granted by charter King Edward I, in 1284 that a fair will be in Nottingham once a year, The official opening is signified at noon on the first day by The Lord Mayor of Nottingham ringing a pair of silver bells, and the Town Clerk reading the Proclamation in the presence of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
First held in the market square, it seems to grow bigger every year. In 1928 it was decided that the fair had to move from the Market Square and it was transfered a mile up the road to ‘The Forest’ recreation ground on Gregory boulevard, and it is looking as though it might be on the move again
We are showing these pictures because it is impossible to explain in writing what makes Goose Fair so special. Loud sounds, driving music, ringing bells, shouting stall-holders and rumbling of carriages, as they go round and round, up and down with the screams of laughter and fright!
Picture yourself in a tree above the Goose Fair hundreds of years ago. The pungent smells and smoke of cookeries are rising above the Market Place (Old Market Square), with its sprawl of makeshift stalls and produce, that were scattered all over.
Occupying roughly the same area as today but looking larger because the frontage of houses and properties leading directly on to it.
Today the noise, smells and excitement are still there, but somewhat overshadowed by the increasing sound of money exchanging hands.
Original article by Pete Woodward (Broxtowe Hundred) and Paul Nix (Nottingham Hidden History Team) February 2003.