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Onion Fair


gone but not forgotten
Robert? Wilson is buried in Robin Hood cemetry aka Solihull cemetry i think?. Len.
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master brummie
Yes Richard, Ingleby Street has long gone. I was very familiar with that street as I lived just off Icknield Street. I certainly don't remember Pat Collins living there. They were old back to back houses, and I passed them many times going off to school. There was a public house in that street called 'The Ingleby' which was run by friends of mine.

David Weaver

gone but not forgotten
Before the war we used to go to the Onion Fair every year and I reckon I'm the only kid in the whole world see his father knock one of those coconuts off its post, not once but twice in a row. He was then told to go away, not very politely I might add. Those coalman's arms had quite a sting in them. My granny also told me that the lion was caught in Aston Church Yard by throwing a big net over it and also said it was very old and most of its teeth were missing. True or false the stories are all fantastic. Regards, David.


master brummie
Hi Ragga and Richard.

It was some 60 years ago that I went to see what 90, Ingleby Street looked like. I might, indeed, have the Fair owners name incorrect as memory can be temperamental sometimes. ;)

Pat Collins was indeed very much connected with Walsall according to Wiki and the info there makes interesting reading. He was, it seems, of Irish descent and was buried in Bloxwich in 1943. A son continued the business but I did not research details on him. There is a web site provided by the present day owners which says the Fair commenced in 1875.

I guess I have been attuned to Anderton & Rowland and Whiteleggs Fun Fairs for the last half century. :D

Hopefully someone will know who operated most Fun Fairs in the 40's and 50's in what is now the West Midlands.


master brummie
Re: Re Onion Fair

My mom use to tell me story's about the Onion Fair or Pat Collins fair and said my great nan and granddad sold land to them .. Being child never took much notice as you do .. well i stumbled on a web site Astonbrook through the Astonmanor were read the name was confirmed. Holland Family sold land ..

David Weaver

gone but not forgotten
Hey Baron I'm now having a good laugh at myself. When dad said we were going to see a strong man picking up a cart horse I imagined he'd just march up to it, throw it over his shoulder and we'd all clap. I felt quite cheated when I saw that platform. Regards David.
Thanks Bernie very interesing... When we were young and playing a bit noisely at home our Mom used to say "What do you think this is Pat Collins Fairground" and if we ever brought a chalk ornament home that we may have won at the fair it was chucked straight out as our Mom said it was unlucky.


master brummie
I have 2 memories of the Fair, the Ox Roasting or sometimes a Deer, and the stalls where you rolled pennies down a shute on to a grid of numbers, if you were lucky enought to drop on a number without touching a line you got the value of that number in pennies usually a 2 or 3 with a (very) occassional larger number, 4, 5 or even 6, I lost a fortune in pennies on those stalls. Eric

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Bernie thanks for that link. Living next door almost to the fair ground it is the one thread that brings a tear to my eye. What a fantastic place to live as a child and the excitement when the fair was coming to ASTON. I can still smell the hot dogs hear the noise of the waltzers and many many more things that would take me all night to write about. Happy days. Jean.


gone but not forgotten
Hi jean ; yes thats what you used to call a fair one spectactual fair
it,s one never missed when it came around and seeing those guys selling sacks of onions big spannish ones
not cooking onions and they had them hanging around there necks they wore striped sweaters blue and whites and there little berets
so fun packed and enterainments of alsorts you had to fight your way down church lane and even through the crowds in the fair ;
have a nice day jean ; alan ; astonian

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Thanks Alan. Would it be possible to re post the photo of the shooting range with my moms old friends on please?. This is a photo of Mrs Humphries who owned the shooting range and then handed it down to her daughters Clara and Ruth. Jean.



Exiled Brummie
My late Dad used to say that when the lion was on the loose, his brothers left him in his pushchair in the park, in Aston, and their mother sent them back to get him!


master brummie
I am researching the fair for a project in Witton, is anyone able to add the photographs and images that have been lost back to the site? It would be so lovely to see them.