• Welcome to this forum Guest. 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

Fairgrounds

mw0njm.

brummie dude
hi all i went on the mad mouse once at the fair.did it make me ill.just looking at this thread reminds me ill.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
hi there
the mop fair is still held at the green in kings norton birmingham every year
and it still goes on today despite the cut backls and the resession
astonion
 

Bishopsmate

master brummie
Bob Wilsons was the fair at the Tulip Festival in Cannon Hill Park, i remember smaller fairs popping up in various parts of Birmingham, I think the one at Shenley park still comes round every so often, apart from the rides i mentioned there were also the stalls, hoop throwing, catch a duck, darts, rifles, lots of prizes to be won from goldfish to soft toys, i still have a little rag doll that my boyfriend now husband won, Eric and Ernie i seen there, Joe Brown i think it was him,, and then the marvellous smells, hot dogs with onions,chips pies,candy floss, toffee apples, popcorn, it was a really magical place, the lights sparkling in the dark and often quite cold in April, lots of laughter, screams from the ghost train, and some of the faster rides, i think part of the fun was being scared, and lots of smiling faces making their way to the gates at closing time.And hopefully if you had enough cash you could do it all again the following night.
I remember Bob Wilsons fair coming to the land on the corner of Haslucks Green Road/Stratford Road every Whitsun. It then went on to Hay Mills and then out of town.
We went to Las Vegas the Camelot Hotel which had a 'fair' downstairs and I was amazed when I visited it back in 2001 that it was just sooo reminescent of how the side shows used to be, even down to the smells.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
Every year in the late fifties I tried to get a job on the rifle range when the fair came to Perry Barr park, one time I was told jobs yours but when I went back someone else had pinched it, good job really as my Mother would never let me work there.
 

Ray Barrett

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN R.I.P.
A great story to relate would be the escape of the lion from the Serpentine, that was later found in Aston Churchyard. Apparently it did not have any teeth.

I have a book that I bought for my mother about the Birmingham Fairs, I will dig it out. I am sure someone will come up with the story.

All the best Peter
My dad told me about the escaped lion at Aston quite recently,he was there,I believe it was 1924.He said all the children from Aston and Nechells joined the hunt.It was eventually cornered in Aston churchyard.Dad said it must have been a friendly lion because it never bit anyone.
My own memory of the Aston onion fair,was the highlight of Hickmans Boxing Booth,saw Randolph and Jackie Turpin there.The big dipper was left there all year round,and we used it to race bikes around.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
hi yes the bike racing was the wall of death and what about the guys whom dived from a great height fifty feet drop i think it was
and the old onion fair was where all the fench men stood at the gates with sacks of onions around there necks with the blue and white stripes shirts ; and great big onions dangerling from the arches ; it was a great asmosphere going there and being in there it was a great fair;
i did not think much of old collins fair it and still is no comparison to old bob and queenie wilsons ;fair
all is life old bob senior was always in control of the dodgems cars that was there biggest earner ; he would always be in that cash office and the lads
working the gaffe [ fair ] would collect the fares and hand it over to him ;
and old queenie ;her self always in the walzers office ; they was the money spenders and young bob at the time there son is now the sole owner
and the house he as built wich was built about thirty years now still stands in there memory and shows off the wealth the family as made its a dallas style house
all in white if you go to hay mills you can see from the gates the house he had built and lives in today when they are not travelling around the country
i used to work on the gaffe myself when i was a single guy in my earlier years a guy called ron [ whom as nick named cow boy used to be queenies right hand man
on the walzers and he was my mate ron used to come dow to the behive cafe in the sixtys and down to the last chance cafe on lichfield rd aston y the aston station and i took up the side show girl the spotted lady ;thats was a good crack ;[ she was not a real spotted lady it was false ;
but they made money and pulled the punters in ;
around he same time i think old bob senior started up in brum ; there was another show man in tewksbury whom came from the isle of wight
is nae was william stevens in the 180s and is tiny house is plaqued with is details out side the house walls today ;
you can find out about him as well ;where he came from and lived over here ;
there is a couple of the old travellers by me whom i speak with often they are just about getting around the one lady covered in all her gold used to do the one with the elephants boot out side her stall banging the big elephants foot out side it calling out ;dont know if you recall them her old man
had the handle bars mostace years they was the great days of yester years and of our fair days there aint much out there now
i think old smarts circus as folded i knew that one of the smarts family retired and lived in selly park many years ago
but she as sold up and moved out and on when herreleis cameto town at bingley hall she would go and see them ;
best wishes astonian
 

shardeen

master brummie
hello all, i remember a fair on the corner of Gooch st and Ashley street in Balsall Heath, in the 50,s, and i allso had the pleasure of performing with a group (rock and roll) at the Tulip festival.

bye for now

shardeen
 

carolina

master brummie
Does anyone remember the fair at Stourport. Although it is still going strong, they are now revamping all around that area and I believe the fair is moving to another site which will still be in Stourport but on a different field. There is still plenty of entertainment going on in the area though.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
well carolina
well unless i was stoned the fair as not moved in decades i was there last week end at the stourport convention
which was the line daning and country and westeren music it still in the same place a it as been for years ;
unless you have new emediate information from last week but i certainy haven,t learnt of it
on the subject of old gooch street that was like a little mop fair ;it was not a proper fair just afew lights and afew rides ; i would not have called it a fair ;
best wishes to you all astonian;;
 

carolina

master brummie
Astonian, hi again. It hasnt moved yet as there is still an 18month lease left on the funeral directors and the factory shop. Weatherspoons will also move. They are creating an archway down there which will lead eventually into shops and houses. I believe the fair has been offered recompense to move. There was an article in the local rag asking why everything had gone quiet, but it was quoted back as a few planning problems. The local contractor Thomas Vale who originally built the bridge is involved.
 

mollie cross

master brummie
I so remember The Onion Fair on The Serpentine.It was one of the highlights of my childhood.I think it used to be in October or November.I lived on Witton Road at the time. droves of people would be making their way down the road,on their way back they would be carrying large stuffed toys which had been won on the various stalls, those were the days when you could win a prize on the fairground.
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Carolina I used to watch that big wheel from my back bedroom window and the different smells wafted across. Oh such happy days. Jean.
 

carolina

master brummie
Jean it was magical wasnt it when we were kids. It shut down in 1969 and had been going for over 500 years.
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Carolina I lived in Holte road and a lot of the fair people were our friends and mom visited the two Humphries sisters in Nuneaton until thy passed away. I used to have many free rides on the fair especially the little wheel and I remember Alan used to own that. Isn't it funny after all those years I can remember his name. I never used to get booted off he used to let me stay on. Jean.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Thanks for the photo, it looks just like the fair which came each year to Sennely's park, where people from Bartley green, Weoley Castle, and Woodgate would come, brings back many memories for me.
paul
 

Kenko

New Member
Does anyone know what month in 1961 did the Onion Fair take place? I say November my wife says October.
 
Top