Nottingham’s Goose Fair celebrates its 719th year this year, which makes it one of the longest-running fairs in the UK. 719 years. Or thereabouts, as this is a case where historians can do no more than reach a consensus that a 1284 Charter of King Edward I that mentions city fairs in Nottingham must include the earliest known reference to the Goose Fair. These days, the Goose Fair takes place on The Forest Recreation Ground and competes with Hull Fair for the largest number of fairground rides, but mushy peas, candy floss and thrills are not entirely out off keeping with the fair’s medieval origins. In Edward I’s day, a fair referred to fun and entertainment, largely provided by itinerant entertainers, but more than anything else, a fair marked a coveted, prestigious and rather necessary opportunity for shopping!
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