The essay got 8 out of 10!
Lorna Hanwell from Norwich sent us the following email:
My late father, John Geoffrey Hanwell, (born Feb 1908), wrote an English essay about Hull Fair - I have his Hymers College English Work Book, which was issued by A Brown & Sons Ltd., London, Hull and York. I think he must have been about 14 when he wrote as follows:
Hull Fair
Hull Fair is said to be the finest and largest fair in the Kingdom. It was originally intended to be a horse fair, but has developed so that the horse fair and the pleasure fair are now entirely separated.
At night, when one approaches the fair-ground, (via Chanterlands Avenue), a great cloud of smoke is seen hovering over the fair and ruddy with the reflections of thousands of lights. The blazing paraffin lamps which once illuminated the various shows are now rapidly giving place to electricity. Several of the 'Chair-o-Planes' are run by electricity and on the exceedingly low power of one hundred and ten volts.
When one compares the dirty, smoky steam engines with clean, smokeless electricity, one realises the possibilities of the fair. It will, probably, be run entirely on electricity before long the electric games, of which there are at least four varieties, will become much more common.
No fair can compete with Hull Fair in the matter of din. Bells, organs, motor horns, sirens and even whistles can be heard. There are about thirty 'organs',(all playing different tunes), and when one strolls round the fair one hears 'Oh Star of Eve', and in a few seconds, 'Julius', and then 'Are you working?'
At twelve o'clock the shows close down and the showmen crawl under their stalls and by about one o'clock in the morning, all is silent.
The essay got 8 out of 10!
Sadly, my father passed away in 1965. Some people in Hull may still remember him-he was a chartered accountant (Downs, Hanwell and Company, Beverley Road) and for some years a conservative councillor (North Newington ward).
He would be tickled to think an essay from his old school book was being read by people he never knew, more than 80 years after he wrote it!
Well this essay is a fascingating insight into one way that Hull Fair was understood at the time. The emphasis on the atmosphere and the constantly changing techonologies was as true then as it is today. You can just imagine the school teacher all those years ago using the fair as a teaching aid just as they do today. Thanks very much Lorna.