Thursday, February 21, 2019


A travelling fair visiting Horse Fair Paddock, Brigg, in the early 1970s. From the  Ken Fisher Collection - see Nigel Fisher's Brigg Blog

Brigg hasn't enjoyed a funfair visit for some years - perhaps because of the difficulty in identifying a large enough location to house the rides and all their support vehicles.
Latter sites used by visiting fairs were the town centre's Old Courts Road car park and the old lorry wash site near Barnard Avenue and Atherton Way.
The former led to complaints about loss of car parking spaces while the fair was set up, while the latter now hosts the Lidl store.
For many years, travelling fairs visited Horse Fair Paddock, including the one in the early 1970s pictured above.
This site was lost to the showmen when Glanford Borough Council built the grouped dwellings and the inner relief road was added in the early 1990s.
Aimed at youngsters, Mini Jets was the name of the fairground attraction seen in the centre of the picture above. These words appear on the caravan to the right.
The grass is clearly growing so we think this may well capture a scene at one of the last May fairs to be held there.
Former Brigg resident Cliff Turner, now in his 90s and living in New Zealand, shared some memories of travelling fairs during a series we ran on Brigg Blog a few years ago.
Looking back to his boyhood in the 1930s, Cliff recalled: "Two big days in the Brigg calendar were May Day Thursday and the Horse Fair, which was held on 5 August unless that date fell on a Sunday.
"The fair in May dated back to medieval times and was authorised originally by Act of Parliament or Statute, which is why we called it 'Stattus'.
"It was originally a hiring fair where agricultural workers would be engaged to work for a year, but our main interest was the funfair in the White Horse Pub's paddock with roundabouts, dodgem cars, gypsy fortune tellers, coconut shies and other means of luring pennies from our pockets.
"There were also one-armed bandits  and my mother once hit the jackpot of about eight shillings. At the time my Dad's weekly wage was fifty shillings, so there was great rejoicing.
"The gypsy fortune tellers - I think there were usually three of them - had little tents just inside the paddock gate and the thing I most remember was that they wore brooches of gold sovereigns."

PICTURED: A travelling fair visiting Horse Fair Paddock, Brigg, in the early 1970s. From the  Ken Fisher Collection.

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