This film is part of Free

Nottingham Goose Fair October 1959

Without a goose in sight, but with plenty of candy floss and toffee apples, the annual extravaganza of the showman's art of entertainment brings thrills to Nottingham.

Amateur film 1959 17 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


Captured by an unknown film-maker, the 1959 Goose Fair promised thrills aplenty, from the 'Temple of Black Magic' to all eleven feet of 'Kap-Dwa the two headed giant' ('he is not just a tall man' the ads intriguingly point out). An optimistically early appearing by Father Christmas in the Autumn sunshine and the sight of the mayor of Nottingham taking his turn on the dodgems adds to the fun.

Immortalised in Alan Sillitoe's 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning', which was published the previous year, Nottingham's annual Goose Fair has a history that dates back to the thirteenth century. Farm produce, including the thousands of Lincolnshire geese that were sold at the fair for centuries, have now gone, so there's no chance of anything like the cheese riot of 1764, a local upheaval which culminated in the mayor being bowled over by a large cheese. Even so, the fair lives on as a highlight of the local calendar, a fixture on the Forest Recreation Ground every October since 1928 when it moved from its original city centre location.