Goose Fair: Rides and Stalls

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.

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‘£1 a go’, five wins gets you a lovly prize worth £2, Goose Fair 2003-Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

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

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The Big Wheel, Goose Fair 2003-Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

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!

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Which one is the winner, Goose Fair 2003-Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

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.

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The noise is defining, Goose Fair 2003-Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

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.

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About nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam

Originally formed in 1965 to try to save or at least record before destruction the cave sites continually discovered during the major redevelopment of the City that took place in Nottingham in the 1960′s. Almost every day new sites were unearthed and destroyed before anyone was notified; last thing they wanted was someone telling them to stop what they were doing; TIME is MONEY. The word HIDDEN in the Team’s title is because a lot of what was being invisibly lost in the redevelopment was our early history in the caves, they are under most, if now all, of Nottingham. In the 80’s and 90’s the Team conducted with the help of Dr Robert Morrell and Syd Henley, research and work on Nottingham’s history, folklore and local archaeology. The Team published quarterly magazines on their findings. The Team lapsed for a few years after the death of Paul Nix who was the team leader for thirty plus years. The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. Most of the material published will be specifically related to Nottingham/shire local history.
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