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