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Onion Fair


master brummie
i have seen pictures and some information on this fabulas site, surgest that you put in a search which is at the top of the page on the right hand side, hope this helps sidwho


master brummie
Staff member
Hi: Re the photos originally on the site of the Onion Fair. Several of the members who posted them no longer visit the site. There was a very large amount of
photos of all kinds destroyed when the site was hacked. As sidwho says they are accounts of the Onion Fair on BHF. Nice photo Carolina. A few sites to look up info on Pat Collins and the Onion Fair specifically: https://www.patcollinsfunfairs.co.uk/#/profiles/4514738531


https://cdm15847.contentdm.oclc.org... Midlands -- Birmingham Onion Fair/mode/exact



master brummie
jean we were so lucky to have the fair on our doorstep, was it 3 times a year Jean
Could here the music from m y bedroom and see the big wheel ,i lived in Tame road opposite Webbs lawn mowers so i could see over the railway which ran at the back of our house and the smells of onions and sausages cooking was mouth watering.

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Rob that we were. I think it was three times a year?. I used to look out of my bedroom window too and loved to see all the lights and listen to the music. Oh yes those smells were awesome. Used to love to watch the traction engines making their way to the serpentine grounds. Jean.


gone but not forgotten
How are you both today fine i hope ;as you have lifted my spirits by putting up your pics of the old onion fair
i know over the years on the forum there as been alot about the onion fair but as you know i am abit low at the moment regards to malvern on friday ;
but you have got me thinking of yester years and the days of the good old onion fair when we was kids
bein fasinated by seeing these guys dressed as french men with strings of onions greeting you at the gates on entry and bungles of onions dangerling
over head from the gantry and the loud organs playing and how when the fair had its last saturnight . hundreds of kids scouring around the site of the fair ground where all the amusement arcades was and roll a penny stall on a sunday morning slowly scouring searching for that penny some body may have lost and dropped and picking up the chalk oniments and running home with it feeling chuffed only to be told by the mother
get it out of the house its bad luck ; [ what a load of old granny tales] what things to tell your kids ay;
i used to skive off to the fair straight from the school [ upper thomas street ] the old man used to go barmy at me for doing it he used to send me to bed
with no tea ; none of my eight brothers never done it only me still when he went to work at night she would call me down and some times i think he knew as he would double back and shout at her and send me back up the stairs
the picture of the riffle range ; it was always packed to try and get on they was easy to pick them off and win prizes
because i was on there that long one saturday afternoon and winning the tickets for good prizes the owner told me to go away because the amount of tickets i had won; we laught at him;
from time to time i see an old lady whom used to be on the fair she as a gammy leg ;still wears her big heavy gold ear rings and we speak to
each other she does not live to far from me i see her in the town;jean you have made me feel good today as i am remeisissng now
i am hoping agaist all odds to get to brum on wednesday to meet a member of the forum whom i have never met she apparently is a cousin to me
as it must have been fifty years since we crossed pathes because we would have been kids and i mean kids
as we used to go to the grand parents house in new cannal street where the grand parents would throw a big party at christmas
where all the family brought there kids and auntys and uncles from abroad would come and stay i can only recalling a couple of girls at the party at that time but no names so it would be great to meet up and she as promised to bring alot of photos for me
so today you have started myfire of yester years and cheered me up
give my regards to pete and best wishes to you both Alan; Astonian;;;;

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Morning to you too Alan. Am so glad you like the photo's of the onion fair. It brings back only happy memories to me too. Those were the good old days when we didn't have much but never craved what everyone else had. I wouldn't have wanted to be brought up anywhere else. Take care. Jean.

David Weaver

gone but not forgotten
HI JEAN; Hello Alan, thanks for my shot in the arm of Old Memories, your blood is worth bottling. Ah the smell of the Onian Fair warms the cockles of the heart and the sound of happiness building up as the time passed. Half the acts wouldn't be allowed today because of the politically correct, fat lady for example but our memories are what they are and no one can take them from us. Kind regards to you and yours, David.


Gone, but not forgotten.
A couple of drawing of when the Onion Fair originated in the Bull Ring at the Michaelmas market. In later years when the fairground people started to open stalls in between the onion traders stalls animosity grew until at last the fairground people withdrew at first to Burbury St park and then after a little while there to the Serpentine Grounds.


A Sparks

master brummie
I like the Largest Rat side show photograph Phil!

I remember going into one of the side shows with my mother, would have probably been in the late 50's/ early 60's, to see the midget couple and the fat lady - it sounds so awful now to think these people would be included in a show but maybe they were ok about it and it was some extra money for them.


master brummie
I remember the side shows i saw some sights if it was just me and my dad we cut through Aston church graveyard walking over more live bodies then dead ones my dad used to say look at the stars to detract me from what was going on yes the smell and nosie of the fair as you got nearer a exciting happy childhood


knowlegable brummie
As a young kid In the 60's I remember asking different stalls if they needed a hand etc to try and earn a little money. While the owner of "knock a coconut off" was on one of his frequent visits to the local pub - I collected the money off punters working on the stall as they tried hard with wooden balls, to knock the coconuts off to get a prize.

What most didn't seem to know was that the majority of the coconuts were actually stuck on and impossible to knock off!

A Sparks

master brummie
You don't surprise me at all Aston b6!

My mother and uncle were quite dab hands on the rifle range but they said you had to take into account that the 'sight' on the guns was always bent!


gone but not forgotten
Just thinking back on the era and your memory of cutting through the church yard to get through the masses of the crowd
alot of people done that even myself it would have been through the old rusty broken railings that was around the side of the church yard
a week or two back some one made a requested question as to whether or not the pic they put on was the old clerkys house and i mentionioned these railing facing his old orininal house at the side of the church where his door and front windows which had many he could infact see you from his house windows if he was knocking around the window area of his house he would dash out and shout at you do not go through that fence
it was total inpossible to walk through that rear end of the old section of the old graves and tomb stones with out falling over especialy if you was respectful and did not want to trample on peoples graves only christ knows how old some of them graves was going back to the 1600s and up to the very early 1903 ,s i would say as i remember them
really there was not really a pathe if if you fond a trek it would have only been as wide as a human shoe side so it was impossible to walk with out treading on some one
and as you say even human being was all trying the same tack to avoid the masses to get out by passing the gates and all those men dressed up as french beretts and striped shirts on they all stood a breast across the exit and of course with old santa and his six penny red sack and kids queing up to get a dip from the sack filled with a couling book or a packet of crayons all the same gifts but as a kid you felt chuffed to see a father christmas and get a pressy ; ha;
but getting back to the grave yard alot of them was delapitated and leaning over as so very closely knitted together they was heavenly crammed hin tha section
in some place yo had a job to work your way around them to get passed ad they was all banged in jamed packed for the space to encrounch them in that sectio i was a massive are to find your way allaround the back of that section ; and of course we used to say watch oout for that secret back door from aston hall which weknew where it was as we seached for it afew times before we found it we used to chase around there quickly before miss rice came our choir mistress she would tell us of plus old warman years later me and my friends used to go the fair and around the dodgems as we all did but we came across a side show called the spotted lady and she used hang around the dodgenms when she was not working my mates and me tryed to chat her up my mate john thought he was in with a good chance but he failed it was me she fanced and i got off with her for afew days but thegaff lads [ being fair ground blokes whom work on the fair ground and travellers was not happy about it
they used to make threats but it did not detour me my old mate ron worrall was a gaff lad whom travelled with the fair for many years was a star with the ladies
he used to operate the walzers he always got the ladies eating out of his hand so to speak he always wore his neck tie good looking bloke at one point he stayed at our house on victoria rd aston for afew nights ; he eventook a shine to my old mother buthe had to move on ron was known as cow boy on the gaff [ fair] and he was known
in the last chance cafe on lichfield rd and of course the beehive cafe and the bee hive pub a couple of doors away on the lichfielfd rd ; still i would imagine he as passed away now just like the be hive cafe and pub and the last chance as all gone down as history
many thanks don for the memory to me and other fello members of today and yester years happy new year best wishes as always astonian;;


Ex-pat Brummie

She's still showing as a member, but I haven't seen her for a while. Last time I spoke to her was on Facebook some time ago, but I don't use Facebook now!



master brummie
Thanks Maurice, it was just that some time back she mentioned people connected with the Onion Fair who might be connected to my family.
Thanks anyway :)