Ivy Shears recalls Hull Fair
Ivy Shears came into Bransholme Lib last September. Ivy did actually come along innocently with a ready made story beautifully hand written. We started by asking a question:
You can read it out if you want!
Well actually Ivy didn't have much choice and duly read the story:
I remember Hull Fair with all the lights and rides. We would walk from Wright St or if we had an extra halfpenny we could ride on the tram. There were stalls and sideshows, the flea circus, the bride in the coffin, we would peer right in on the glass, she didn't move; and caravans where people would queue up to have their fortunes told. The caravans were lovely, all glass and beautiful curtains and pottery, we would reach up to look through the windows. The stalls went all the way down Walton Street with Carvers Fish Shop and coconut stalls, goodies and fancy hats and dolls. You could smell the roasting chestnuts and the chips but we saved our money to go on the rides.
There was a lot to choose from but the boxing booth was always my brothers favourite only to watch, though if you would challenge the boxer you could get as much as 5/-. A few tried it. We went on the shamrock and galloping horses. My brother was four years older than me and didn't want me hanging around with him but one night I spotted a 10/- note on the ground and picked it up and later saw my brother and shared it with him. That time he let me and my friends walk with him and his mates.
We went to the circus, I think it was Bostock and Wombwell, there were bare back girl riders on lovely horses dressed in beautiful silk dresses and some wore just short skirts and did jumping through hoops and riding two or three together on just one horse, there were clowns and tight rope walkers, lots of us got balloons given and sweets. We had a night to remember with all the elephants, tigers, monkeys and performing dogs. We sat on forms and sawdust on the floor. There doesn't seem to be side shows now; there was the giant man, smallest lady in the world, the bearded lady, I always wonder if it was true. There was the wall of death lads on motor-bikes would ride round and round a basin shaped wooden wall. It was too noisy for me; I always felt they might come over the top. On the front of the shows girls would dance with shiny dresses and feathers in their hair beckoning people to go inside and see the full show of dancing girls and boys.
We didn't have enough money to see all that. We would stand and listen to Chicken Joe: if you had a win he gave you a chicken on the top; everyone tried to have a night out at the fair even when there wasn't much money around. We would go errands for neighbours, save the 1p and p we got. As we got older you would go to the fair just to see if you could meet any lads. I think a lot of people met their future husbands and wives at the fair. I hope Hull Fair goes on for a long time, to give all the youngsters of today the happy memories we have. I am 80 now but still go for a walk round with my friends and remember all our laughs and good times over the years.
I was 80 last week so I put 79 there!
So you still go?
Yes, I go each year with friends we generally make it a Thursday night. Cause Friday's a bit too busy and Saturday - you know. So we make it a Thursday. Thought I was mad, not last year but the year before, it was absolutely teeming with rain - said - you never went round fair did you? But - I'm hoping to go.
Many thanks Ivy - beautifully read - your contribution to the project is much appreciated.