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Goose Fair

A convoy of pleasure and excitement

That descends on the city at night

Carrying fantastic rides of joy

Of exhilarating experience and delight

Piece by piece are assembled

Like a jigsaw they all fit together

Working to be ready on time

Working through all kinds of weather

The skyline of Nottingham changes

A jungle of lights and steel

Sideshows and rides

Not forgetting the Big Wheel

Then the opening day arrives

A ritual that is part of the fair

Then the bell will be rung

And a speech from the Lord Mayor

The noise from the loud speakers

The aroma from cooking meals

Candyfloss, hot peas and balloons

Anticipation, excitement and squeals

A night of breathtaking beauty

A kaleidoscope of dazzling display

Everyone will enjoy the experience

Until it’s dismantled and taken away.

Malcolm G Bradshaw

Portland Road


Goose Fair for my new friend Baylei

A regiment of honking geese, 
disturb the early morning peace. 
As they are driven to the fair
by girls with flowers in their hair.

The goose fair is the great event 
and the excitement’s evident.
As Farmers, wives and serving maids
and hucksters join the great parade.

Small tinkers carts of pots and pans.
Dispute the way with caravans 
of gypsy families who meet
at the goose fair. Where they compete

with local merchants. They all try 
to persuade fair goers to buy.
The fairings that they have for sale 
gilt gingerbread and bottled ale.

Hair ribands of every hue.
“golden” rings and brooches too
At least that’s what the hucksters say.
As they attempt to make you pay.

much more than what their wares are worth.
A cause to wiser heads for mirth.
But the young will not be told 
that all that glistens is not gold.

It would be wasting time to try 
to persuade them not to buy.
What they perceive to be bargains.
Excitement has addled their brains.

There stands a stall of pewter ware
The finest value at the fair
with pots and plates of every size.
The pewtersmith does not tell lies.

There’s something to suit every taste.
Be quick, be quick no time to waste
The merchants cry in unison 
your only chance will soon be gone.

There’s games to play to test your skills 
and fat quack doctors selling pills.
Which they’re prepared to guarantee
will cure your every malady.

Your rotten tooth you can have out.
The dentist knows what he’s about
He does not claim it is pain free
but pulls it out efficiently.

There’s stalls of boots and stalls of shoes
which make it difficult to choose
from whom you’ll buy your merchandise
Prepared to haggle over price

You have to have the cash to pay
for anything you buy today.
This simple rule to everyone applies.
And woe betide the fool who tries

To steal the goods he cannot buy.
For they will raise the hue and cry.
The baying crowd will join the chase
the thief will find no hiding place.

They will harass him mercilessly 
until he’s caught eventually. 
Then he’ll be locked away to wait
his trial by the magistrate.

He has been beaten black and blue 
as angry crowds are wont to do
He faces transportation 
or even execution.

If valued at twelve pence or more
then only death will pay the score.
If it is less he will sent
to some far distant settlement.

Where he must labour for the time
that was thoughtmete to fit his crime.
The angry crowd have had their fun
and soon forget what they have done.

They drift away as twilight falls
completely deaf now to the calls
of merchant who still have goods to sell.
They make for home with tales to tell.

The merchants must remove their stalls
although outside the city walls
They must be gone by break of day 
or they will have a fee to pay.

The fair is over for this year.
The finest Goose Fair anywhere.
The local worthies proudly boast 
about the Goose Fair which they host.

It has been held for centuries 
and still today it guarantees
a fun filled day for families
Although today you see few geese.


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ivor or ivor.e hogg
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