Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history.
While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.
We do hope you enjoy your visit.
BHF Admin Team
I have family who were travelling showmen and in 1881 were living in caravans in New John Street, on my grandmother's birth certificate of 1882, her place of birth was 39, New John Street. This area must have been popular with the travellers of that time. Not been able to work further back and the last confirmed information is in January 1889 when the fair was in Saltley Road. Amazed that the area was still used as recently as 1938, I will watch this topic with interest.
hi carol cracking pic not seen that one before but the old pleck i know of (maybe there was more than one) was waste ground near bracebridge st newtown and was the site of the onion fair before it moved to the serpentine...the council then took over the old pleck and turned it into walmer recreation ground...there is a thread for the walmer rec ground which is very interesting...here is a link about the old pleck..and also the link to the thread about walmer rec ground
just read what mike said carol and according to the caption on your photo the old pleck ran beside hockley brook which of course burbury st park did....so basically im now totally confused because i thought the old pleck was on the walmer rec ground nr bracebridge st lol...hopefully we can sort it out..
I'm sure I have posted this elsewhere on the site, but the Birmingham Onion Fair started in the Bull Ring at the Michaelmas Market . After a few years because of continuous disputes between the traders and amusement owners as the traders claimed they encouraged thieves and pickpockets by 1860 the traders were asking for bylaws to prevent the fairs from operating.
By 1875 the fair moved to The Pleck a public open area in Burbury Street, which is now known as Burbury Street Park. After remaining there for a few years the fair moved to the Sepentine Grounds Aston.
hi phil you are spot on except that as i thought burbury st park is nothing to do with the old pleck.. here is part of an article dated 1892 about the opening of walmer recreation ground which prior to that was called the old pleck...it was in the stephens ward which was in newtown also posting a map of the triangular shape that was walmer st rec ground and the triangular shape is mentioned in the article...sorry i cant post all of the article as it makes good reading but its so long and i dont know how to do it lol..
just read johns info phil which i dont think he wrote...the bit about burbury st could have been a miss print because if you read on it does say that the lion that escaped was captured near stevens st which i think should read st stephen st and bracebridge st which is where the walmer rec ground was...its a good job we dont always take what we read as gospel isnt it phil...errors in history can be made just like captions on photos as we very well know...
There is confirmation of what you say about The Pleck and the Walmer recreation ground in this article in the Birmingham Mail. It's near the bottom of the article, but the whole thing makes good reading.
My ancestors were fairground showmen, they travelled to different places on a sort of regular circuit so I was able to find out a lot more about the families when I finally worked this route out. Some sites I found helpful particularly the Sheffield fairground site are:
I hope these links work the last one has some indexed information from different census records etc.
The names Harris and Owens are not in my family history.Were they fairground or Circus showmen or gypsy families as there are different archive places to look for information.
For Gypsy families I have a small book called My Ancestors were Gypsy's by Sharon Sillers Floate which has quite a lot of information but the internet searches are also a good source. The Romany and Traveller family history society may be another source to check. The Birmingham Library may have copies of the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society from 1888.