Some Historical Goose Fair Events and Dates

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


Goose Fair (or Goods Fair as it was originally known) was cancelled because of the Black Death


The first documented reference to Nottingham’s ancient Goose Fair appears in the Nottingham Borough Records


The Mayor, Sheriff and Aldermen were required to officially open Goose Fair by reading out a proclamation and ringing bells


Goose Fair was cancelled because of the plague

September 1752

The year the calendar was revised, missing out 11 days of September, was one of the few occasions Nottingham’s Goose Fair was not held

2 October 1753

The date of Goose Fair was switched from September to start every year on 2 October

2 October 1766

Nottingham’s ‘Great Cheese Riot’ took place at Goose Fair over the high cost of cheese, during which the Mayor was knocked down by a large rolling cheese

2 October 1855

Nottingham’s Goose Fair had its first big hand-turned roundabout; Twigdon’s Riding Machine

October 1859

A special train carrying Goose Fair revellers from Nottingham to Derby was hit by a mail train near Trent Station, killing seven people and injuring many others

October 1877

Wombwell’s Menageries came to Nottingham’s Goose Fair, with over 7,000 birds and animals and 53 employees

October 1888

As part of the Goose Fair attractions, Professor Baldwin, the aeronaut, made the first parachute jump in Nottingham from a balloon over Wollaton Park

October 1892

Professor England’s ‘Royal Exhibition of Performing Fleas’ appeared at Nottingham’s Goose Fair


Local artist Arthur Spooner painted his well known canvas of Nottingham’s Goose Fair

6-8 October 1927

The last Goose Fair was held in the Old Market Square before moving to the Forest

Back to ‘Nottingham’s Goose Fair’ main page

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.

Back to the top of the page

For other information about Nottingham click here

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

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