If you can’t go to Hull Fair this year you can relive some of its excitement by visiting Humber Museums website. Earlier this year they had planned to hold an exhibition of images and memories of the fair at Hull Museum, but lockdown got in the way. If anything, the website is a more than adequate alternative to a trip round the museum – and you can watch it as many times as you like!
The London Section of the Showmen’s Guild had intended to stage a token presence in St Giles, Oxford, next Monday on what would have been the opening day of the St Giles Wake Fair. Sadly, due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the area which might lead to a local lockdown, Oxford City Council has informed the Section that they are no longer able to attend with any attractions. It had been hoped that this might have been an opportunity for FAGB members to meet up again, but that must now wait until another day.
Well ahead of schedule the September edition of The Fairground Mercury has been posted to FAGB members. .
To mark the 90th anniversary of the first appearance in this country of a Noah’s Ark, Ian Trowell has written a major essay on the history of that original ride. Imported from Germany by the Peckham Rye showman William Wilson, it made its British debut at Mitcham Fair in August 1930. Ian traces its subsequent and lengthy career which ended with the machine being scrapped in 2000. The article is illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs.
Also in this edition: Mike Cooper recounts an August weekend in 1987 when he did a tour of the London fairs; Martin Burridge writes about the West Country showman, the late Bob Pepper, and the business he began; and Roger Mills muses on the vagaries of late 19th century censuses and what they tell us about the showmen they recorded. Harking back even farther, an article looks at the history of John Richardson, the master showman whose theatrical booth was the premier attraction at Bartholomew Fair in 1808.
Mike Willis lists all the recent machine changes in his ‘Roundabouts’ column, while in ‘Feedback’ members add to the information published in previous editions. The passing of many of our fairground friends and colleagues is marked in ‘Tributes’.
Printed in full-colour and 40 pages in length The Fairground Mercury is the quarterly journal of the Fairground Association of Great Britain and is sent free to all members. To obtain a copy of this and the next three editions send a subscription of £15 (OAPs and under 16s, £12) to: Lynn Calladine, FAGB Membership Secretary, 29 Mill Street, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1DT.
Please note that applications are welcomed from overseas but are subject to an additional payment of £5 to cover air mail costs. Payment should be made to ‘The Fairground Association of Great Britain’, and please enclose a small SAE for the despatch of your membership card. You can also pay by PayPal.
All new members will receive a free copy of Fairground Architecture 50, produced by the FAGB in association with the National Fairground & Circus Archive to mark the 40th anniversary of our foundation.
Published Aug 2020 by Admin