We meet in the Lower Hall of the Village Centre at 7.30. Visitors are welcome. (£3.00 includes refreshments)

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 and the subject will be “The Archaeology of the Tram”. There were some interesting finds when extending the tram route out past the University to Toton Lane. The speaker will be Dr. Gareth Davies of Trent and Peak Archaeology

Do you know where the expression “to take the gilt off the gingerbread” comes from? One of the foods served at Victorian Fairs was gingerbread, sometimes having been put into moulds and baked into fancy shapes so that the biscuite resembled the king and queen. Then they were painted with gilt.
This was one of the many fascinating facts FARNSFIELD LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY were told by Dr. Ann Featherstone at our November meeting. She had some good pictures of Goose Fair when it was held in the Old Market Square until the Council House was built in the late 1920s and Ilkeston Fair. These were Charter Fairs, on the same dates each year and then there were Hiring Fairs held at places like Stratford-on-Avon where  masters came to hire servants and labourers, farmhands. 
Roundabouts were not introduced until the late 1800s, or early twentieth century. Before that there were amusements that we find distatseful nowadays such as Bostock and Wombwell’s Menagerie that travelled around with 30 caged animals, freak shows exhibiting the tallest man, the ugliest woman, the fattest girl. Pay a penny to stare at them.
We may complain about “Health and safety gone mad” but people regularly came to grief at the extremes provided at the Fair such as a “flying man” lying on a grooved tray on a slack rope. Then food could be bought from a “flying pieman”. He did not have a stall but walked round selling his pies containing goodness only knows. Oysters were cheap and popular too. Perhaps Goose Fairs “Cock on a Stick” was one of the better options. 

We have books “A History of Farnsfield” (5.00) and Memories of Farnsfield as well as our Chairman Philip Marsh’s book on  Farnsfield’s own pioneer and explorer Augustus Gregory whose family emigrated to Australia in the nineteenth century. Farnsfield to Rainworth – Journey of a Lifetime” (7.00) It is selling very well and can be obtained from Farnsfield library, the Bookcase in Lowdham, the  Cathedral shop in Southwell and Five Leaves bookshop off Long Row, Nottingham. We also have copies of all these.

Many thanks to those who have let us have photographs in response to our appeal. We now have plenty of photographs of pram races. There must be photographs of events organised by village Societies and clubs over the years. If you can let us have any then please contact us through the website or telephone.

For more information telephone David and Judith Milnes on 01623 882454



Many local historians and History Societies (including Farnsfield Local History Society) are getting increasingly concerned by the loss and destruction of old title deeds and documents.
This has recently accelerated with the introduction of compulsory land registration.

Registration of Title means that once registration has been completed the old deeds and documents are no longer required. Before compulsory registration the title deeds were essential and were most commonly held by Building Societies or other lenders. Now they do not wish to clutter their storage space and are returning old deeds to the property owners where they are in danger of loss or destruction.

Old title deeds are very useful in establishing how a community grew and developed. They also give a snapshot of how our predecessors lived.

Farnsfield Local History Society want to try and build up such a picture by obtaining and storing unwanted old deeds and documents, or just borrowing them. So it is asking anyone who holds such items relating to Farnsfield and its immediate neighbourhood to pass them on to the Society so that they can be studied and any useful information recorded.

If you are willing to pass on old deeds to the Society please contact David and Judith Milnes at Long Acre, Main St., Farnsfield, telephone no. 01623 882454 or email to

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New Album Page Added – Farnsfield Photographs

Please take a look at the new photo album page.  We are experimenting with different ways of displaying the hundreds of Farnsfield Photographs, pictures and images we have gathered that portray Farnsfield’s history.  In time each image will appear in the appropriate page of the web site.  This page will remain though to allow you to browse the images at your leisure. Please take a moment to let us know what you think.

Also, if you have any photographs to add to the collection please let us know, whether it is your village society or one of the many events where Farnsfield  “celebrated” such as the Millennium, the Queen’s coronation or jubilee celebrations


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