Goose Fair Nottingham
Robin Hood Country
Christmas as a child was always the biggest holiday to look forward to closely followed by birthdays. Easter meant chocolate eggs and when we were really young a decorated boiled egg for breakfast. Living in Nottingham had the added treat of goose fair every third Thursday in October.
October came with fog and a giant Goose erected on a roundabout adjacent to a large recreation ground we called the forest. Kids at school started to become excited at the prospect of going to the fair. The main question on children's lips in the playground, 'are you going on the Thursday night, Friday or Saturday'.
I can remember the excitement and the fear of being amongst so many people, flashing lights, the mixture of whirling noises and music. The strange food smells, watching where you stepped through a muddy ground, and trying to remember the place where my mother said to meet if I got lost. For me so young winning a bow and arrow set on the hook a duck stand and eating my favourite food was the biggest buzz of the year.
I'm not talking about candy floss, Brandy snaps, toffee apples or the smell of the onions on the hot dog stalls, but hot mushy peas with mint sauce. Synonymous with Nottingham as pie mash and liquor is in the east end of London.
Goose Fair Boxing
My grandmother was Irish and she had eleven brothers all who were Boxes and one boxed at Goose fair in the 80’s.
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- A bunch of spring onions
- finely chopped
- A handful of fresh mint leaves finely chopped
- 500 grams (1 pound) frozen marrow fat peas
- 2 large knobs of butter
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
- Pour the olive oil in a pan and heat add the mint, chopped onions and peas. Leave covered for a few minutes to steam. Add the vinegar and mash smooth with a potato masher. Season to taste and add the butter.
Goose Fair History
Nottingham Goose Fair, Panoramic View 1890s.
Goose fair today runs from Wednesday to Sunday over 700 years old it is still held at the forest recreation ground and it still has a hook a duck, the waltzer and over 500 hundred other attractions to marvel at. I recently spoke to a friend that takes her children to the Goose fair and the cuisine has changed. Chinese food, Spanish churros, Indian Curries, everything you can find in a shopping centre food court is on offer. The side shows are gone and the main emphasis is on the biggest and baldest rides. For me I'll have hot peas and the dodgem cars every time, but the helter skelter "tornado slide" was a childhood favourite.