Nottingham’s Goose Fair

When the nights begin to draw in and there’s a hint of autumn in the air, Nottingham residents talk of ‘Goose Fair weather’.

Goose Fair view
Goose Fair view

Then the time approaches for the show people to congregate at the fairground, and local children watch with anticipation as the rides are constructed and the fair starts to take its familiar shape.

Goose Fair is acres and acres of colour, lights, sounds and fun, with mushy peas and Grantham gingerbread, gentle Edwardian roundabouts and white knuckle stomach turners for thrill seekers, all mingling to make Nottingham’s annual spectacular.

Visitors travel from far and wide to experience the crowds, laughter, squeals and sights that give Goose Fair its distinctive atmosphere.

The fair normally has its official opening on the first Thursday in October and runs through until Sunday.

Further Information (click the title to go to the page)

The Origins of Goose Fair

A brief history of the fair from an old Nottingham City Council ‘Nottingham Goose Fair’ leaflet, written around 1988 by Carl Piggins of the Public Relations Office.

Goose Fair – The Golden Age of Ticklers and Emmas

A description of Goose Fair in the Old Market Square in 1896, taken from the memoirs of Mr G. C. A. Austin, Nottingham’s Clerk of the Markets from 1907 to 1944.

Film of Goose Fair in 1935

A short piece of black and white film of the fair and official opening.

Some Historical Goose Fair Events and Dates

These dates are all taken from my ‘Events and dates in Nottingham’s history’ pages.

Goose Fair Painting by Harry Haslam

Goose Fair 1907 by Harry Haslam
Goose Fair 1907 by Harry Haslam

Not long ago I won this wonderful painting of Nottingham’s Goose Fair (1907) by local artist Harry Haslam in a Nottingham Post and True Colours Art Gallery competition.

Harry Haslam paints from old postcards and takes photographs of the buildings that still remain to get more information. Harry reproduces the detail as accurately as possible and in every one of his pictures hides an image of his faithful dog Jude.

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For other information about Nottingham click here

MumblingNerd’s Nottingham destination print

If you want to know more about Nottingham’s past there is further information in ‘Events and dates in Nottingham’s history’ and through these websites:

The Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway

The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire

Nottingham Local Studies Library


2 thoughts on “Nottingham’s Goose Fair

  1. I was just wondering about some of my Father, Harry Haslam’s work and came across the fact you had won one of his paintings. I am his daughter, Faye. I had never seen the painting and, WOW!! isn’t it beautiful? You must be very proud to own such a fine piece. My Father painted the Crooked Spire for me a couple of years ago as it’s my favourite church and I was christened there. If you have any other pieces by him, I would dearly love to see them.
    I hope you have a nice Xmas and New Year, and you have truly made my day!!
    Kind regards, Faye Herbert (nee Haslam).

    1. Hello Faye, thanks for the Christmas wishes and to you too. Yes, Harry’s paintings are great aren’t they and I do love the Goose Fair one. I don’t have any others and I’ve lost the link to his webpage; when I try to access it I get a ‘subscription expired’ notice. I still have his Facebook page link: and I’ve ‘pinned’ a few of his pictures to my ‘Nottingham History’ Pinterest board:
      With best wishes, Roy.

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