The fair dates back more than 700 years and was once said to be Europe's biggest. The consensus among historians is that the fair probably started just after 1284 when the Charter of King Edward I referred to city fairs in Nottingham. The Goose Fair was cancelled due to the bubonic plague in 1646 and again during the two World Wars in the 20th century. Until 1928 it was held in Nottingham Market Square but was moved because of redevelopment of the area. It is now held at the Forest Recreation Ground.
The Goose Fair started as a trade event and enjoyed a reputation for its high-quality cheese, although it is now known for its rides and games. Its name is derived from the thousands of geese that were driven from Lincolnshire to be sold in Nottingham.
Originally, the fair was held in September on St Matthew's Day, but in 1752 it moved to early October. The duration of the fair was shortened from eight days to three days in the eighteen hundreds, but after the turn of the 21st century it was increased again to four days, for the 700th anniversary, but was kept afterwards. For 2006, the fair increased to five days with the addition of limited opening hours on the Sunday afternoon. but as it proved unprofitable to open on the Sunday, it was not repeated in 2007.
Nottingham Goose Fair is considered by most to be one of the most prestigious fairs in the UK. However, in recent years, the dates of the fair have created a problem, as it now overlaps with the 10-day equally prestigious Hull Fair. Some of the top rides from the Goose Fair therefore have to travel directly from Nottingham to Hull, not opening at Hull until around the fourth day of the fair.
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Oct 22, 2010; WI THE speaker at Cossington WI's Oc s -tober meeting was Peter Legg who for 12 years was a Mayoral Officer with Charnwood...