Fair first started in 1273
and celebrated its 700th birthday in 1993
People say it is the best time of the year in Hull but some say it causes the most hassle! The houses that look out upon the fair must not really enjoy the fair as much as they would like too, I mean there is the noise up until at least midnight
every night, the rubbish and feeling that they don't really have much privacy. Through friends that live around there I have found out that during that week the council house tenants get some money or free rent, not bad really.
Hull Fair is held in the last week in October but it has not always been like this, it started off being held in March, then moved from May to June to September and then finally, to the second week in October. The fair starts on the closest Friday to the second week in October and runs for one week until the following Saturday.
In the 18th century the fair was dominated by jugglers, theatrical booths and puppet shows while from the early 19th century the famous Wombwell Menagerie show appeared, which introduced the people of Hull to their first sights of wild animals. The introduction of mechanisation in the 1870s brought new life to the fair and in a period when many historic fairs were lost with the passing of the Fairs Act in 1871, the people of Hull remained loyal to their annual feast.
The fairs location has changed many times throughout the years, The market place, Brown Cow Field outside the town, Park Street and then in 1888 it moved to its current location of Walton street and was named the biggest fair in England at a massive 16 acres!
The 1908 fair saw twenty seven railway excursions bringing over 12,000 people to the fair that year, and the widespread use of electricity by the showmen led the World's Fair, the showmen's newspaper, to describe the annual feast as Light City.
Like most traditional fairs throughout England, the Hull fair was cancelled during the war years and was not revived until hostilities had ended. The 1919 show was bigger and better with over twenty rides. With the cacophony of sound produced by the fairground organs which could be heard throughout the ground, Hull Fair was not only the largest fair in England but probably the loudest.
Nowadays the fair is more about the rides and the food. So many stalls, so little time as they say... With rides such as the 'big wheel', 'the hollywood' and 'the superbowl' the fair is no longer about the shows, it is dominated by rides. Walton Street itself is now crammed with stalls selling various pointless items such as flashing light necklaces, colouring books, balloons and many a plastic doll and toys. Also down the street are many food stalls selling candy floss, brandy snap, toffee apples, hotdogs, chips and various takeaway-type-foods.