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Goose Fair Experience



The time is upon us,

An atmosphere of excitement fills the air

Waiting for that convoy of vehicles

To start assembling Nottingham Goose Fair


In a matter of hours they start to assemble.

Like a jigsaw all has its place

A city of activity and manpower

Of steel erected at a furious pace


When all the construction has been completed

Transforming the whole area with light

The lord mayor of Nottingham presides

Ringing the bell, to the eyes it’s a wonderful sight


The sound of the music, and rides

All the people milling around

The excitement is tremendous

As they all ride the merry go round


The terrifying rides are an attraction

For those who dare to try

Spinning them all around

As in the night sky they fly


The kiddies enjoy themselves

On gentler rides at a slow pace

You know that they love the ride

By just looking at their face


There is candyfloss and balloons

Mushy peas and jellied eels

Everyone are enjoying themselves

For in the distance you can hear the squeals


So if you are ever visiting Nottingham

You must experience Nottingham Goose Fair

It’s an experience you’ll never forget

You then can tell your friends you were there


Malcolm Bradshaw

“Fairground Attraction”

“Fairground Attraction” Size 12×12″ Acrylics on Canvas
Exhibition:From 24th September 2013 Studio 61 Gallery, Studio 61 Gallery,
Leashaw  Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5AT 01629 534532

ImageMy latest painting is inspired by the famous Nottingham “Goose Fair”. I was asked by a local company in Nottingham if I’d like my art featured on their website for September 2013 they also featured one of my paintings last year “The Great British Mini”

Debbie Mawhinney Directorat The New Fat  suggested I tie in an event or similar that would occur in Nottingham, I agreed to do some research and on my findings I decided the Nottingham Goose Fair would be a good choice and so Debbie happily agreed and changed my feature date to October.

The Goose Fair ties in with autumn one of my favourite seasons and the very famous event. I also lived in Nottinghamshire for a while as a child and later again as a teenager it couldn’t be a more perfect choice I really love to find connections.

I researched further and found that the Goose Fair had been running for over 700 years. It all began at the time of King Edward l in 1284 and began as a trade fair for animals, farmers would paint the feet of their geese with tar and walk them more than 50 miles or more to the fair. Over the years entertainment and stalls were added and eventually travellers brought their attractions and thus The Goose Fair became a “Fairground Attraction” and always at the beginning of October, it is now the biggest fair held in Europe with over 100 attractions. Last but not least there is also a famous painting by Artist Arthur Spooner “The Nottingham Goose Fair” 1926 and sold by Christies in 2004. The paintings is now exhibited at Nottingham Castle.

It would be just perfect to recreate my own larger version in the not too distant future.

Nottingham Goose Fair 2013

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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