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    the Wigan Fair on the market square

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it was silcocks brothers that was on the old market square in wigan i remember this as my dad george lowe was larances silcocks manager for 54years may dad was manager on the waltzer and dodgems arthur silcock srn and ted silcock and herbie silcock had all there rides open on the market i was all ways with my dad siting in the pay box on the waltzer at the age of six years old i was on the platforms pusing the tubs around on the track and helpig build and pull the rides down moving from one fairground to the next one i sill keep in contackt with the silcocks family my dad and mum past way 20years ago i have got lots of old photos of all of silcocks transport and rides yours robert lowe from latchford warrington cheshire robert lowe, warrington cheshire, cheshire

25th Aug 2015

I can't say that I ever had the black peas, but I do remember the toffee apples and fairy floss!! Winning a goldfish by throwing darts at cards. The noise and the screams of the kids on the rides. We emigrated to Australia in 1964 I was 14 then am now 63 it was a long time ago but some things you don't forget. Cheers all!! Liz Kearvell (nee Hayes), Adelaide, Australia

6th Nov 2012

My dad took me to the fair in the mid 50,s when I was about 6 or 7. The black pea booth was a priority. I recall there was always a small monkey on a leash sitting next to the boiler. You got a cup of black peas and a dash of vinegar and went and sat down inside. My dad always joked that the unique taste of the black peas came from every now and then they dipped the monkey in the peas. Then it was off to air rifle stall where you got about 5 pellets to try to knock down tin figures to win a goldfish. Happy days. Dave Stephens, Wigan, UK

22nd Oct 2012

Wigan fair on the market square, the first thing we used to do was go for a cup of black peas from Butterworths tent, served in a cup and when you had finished you put your cup in a big tub of water, Brian William Hitchen, Wigan, England

16th Sep 2012

I loved to eat the black peas. I bought some, but after I`d cooked them the taste was nowhere near the same. They put some extra ingredient in !! My sister, seven years older than I, wouldn`t be seen dead, as they say, in the black pea saloons. In one of the side booth`s was a small billiard table. Several coins were placed on top of the red ball which was on the spot at the top of the table and a circular ring was marked around it. All the coins that came out of this ring after you hit the red with the cue ball were yours to keep. It was impossible to make any of the coins move out of this ring !! Ernest Pyke, Shevington, Lancashire

2nd Jul 2012

my two aunties had a jockey weighing machine at the end of the little arcade (not the one inside).does anyone have any memories .their names were agnes and margaret ramsdale. peter ramsdale, wigan, lancs

28th Dec 2011

Going in the tent for black peas, with salt n vinager on, candy floss and rolling pennys to win a goldfish, carrying it home in a plastic bag with string handles, they always died a couple of days later and I was gutted. And oh the pot stalls where they sold all sorts of pots, towels, bedding etc, those men who were selling could get you to buy anything and they spoke 20 to dozen. Chris, Wigan, Lancashire

20th Sep 2011

I remember most the smell of black peas they tasted great has anyone got the recipe everybody around Wigan went to the fair its a shame those days have gone its now all computer games and the like shame.... regards Frank..born and bred Frank Smith, North Lincs, uk

12th Jul 2011

i loved the black peas i have tried to to make them but could not make them like the fairground wish i could go back in time i know were i would be . tonyberry, wigan, england

20th May 2011

Wigan Fair! Several visits - but the best memory was in the mid-50s! I was then doing nurse-training at Wigan Infirmary. Me and a fellow-student went to the Fair one evening - still in our nurses' uniforms ....and that was a sin! I think it was on the Chair-o-Planes that my mate's "nurses-hat" fell off and went into the works! Panic - we should not have been there "gowned-up" as we were! What if Matron finds out!!!! We got away with it - but I wonder if Eileen Lawton is still above-ground. Edna Booth (nee Pennington), Warrington, UK

14th Apr 2011

silcocks fair five bob to spend rides and black peas grate days d boylan, wigan, eng

6th Feb 2011

the fair is silcocks the waltzer is john silcoks o work for them i scoilswent to st goerges school john crook, wigan, eng

28th Sep 2010

I adored being taken to Wigan Fair with my mum and dad and remember everything thats been mentioned, especially the black peas ten (I loved them), but does anyone remember hot sliced potatoes as well, Ithink they were just boiled, not fried and wrapped in a paper cone? The Wigan Fair is a wonderful childhood memory. Mary Pearson (Aspden), Wigan, England

7th Aug 2010

Black peas i loved them although i never knew what they were called apart from black peas. What was the real name. How were they cooked? What did they put in them to give them that lovely flavour? My favourite ride was the caterpillar and when the hood went over that's when i use to get really scared. I also loved the waltzer but that could have been something to do with the boys that worked on it. Mum would have been furious if she knew i was after a fair boy. Fab memories. Christine Ackland (nee Hunter), Southampton Hampshire, UK

17th May 2010

What great times, sticking to the rotating wall, the waltzer, caterpiller, the Rolling Stones "Pinted Black" etc etc. I always wanted to work on the waltzer (still do at the age of 53) paul sullivan, birmingham, england

27th Mar 2010

One of my earliest memories is of being with my dad and nan at the fair on the cobbled market square and just being facinated with the big wheel..remember looking up at lots of people and the black peas smell and the noise..happy memories.After that it was the fair on greenough street before they built the sullivan way council estate..and the gypsies throwing plates at us when we came out of st georges school..its all comiong back now..happy days! vic, wigan, lancs

27th Feb 2010

my aunty teedy used to take me to the fair & i always got a 'black' balloon (they wouldnt be acceptable today) & a whistling canary that you spun round & round your head, ahh....loved it. shez, golborne, england

8th Oct 2009

I don't think i went to the same fair as which you are all on about as i am only 20 years old, but i did go to a few, i never had black peas there but i loved the fairs, i loved black peas from bonfire nights with the family, and at the current moment i am sat at home eating some very nice black peas!! Yum Samantha, Wigan, UK

11th Jul 2009

Wigan fair it was great,and the black pea stall,I had at least 4 cup,s full.I can taste them now.And the boxing booth,Sammy Sullivan wasa young boxer,his dad was the boss.three rounds for fiver.they nerer made it. A Parr, Adelaide, South Australia

13th Apr 2009

My brothers Stephen&Dennis would always take me to the fair on the Wigan car park is was covered from corner to corner with every bit the "fun of the fair". We always won fish which invariabley died,they also freeked my mother out.Hmmmm I wonder why? I loved the fast Walzer, big wheel & candy floss. I don't know how they ever paid for our days out as we never had money as such,but my memories are fantastic of those days. WENDY QUILLIAM (JOHNSON), wigan, england

2nd Dec 2008

Wigan Fair...oh what memories. It came in May and October. My Dad would take me and my sisters on the Friday night - big night out it was: we'd start with the Roll a penny and then on to the Big Wheel; after that the Waltzer (which I avoided); then the Caterpillar, followed by a few small roundabouts. The finale of course was the Black Peas; what a delight that was; sat on wooden benches watching the big steaming boiler eating your white teacup of peas...marvellous. At the end, before making for the late Abbey Lakes or Pemberton bus, we all got a present: mine was always a plastic wagon trail water bottle... Take me back to those halcyon days... We live on another planet now... John Jarvis, A Pemberton lad, born and bred., UK

23rd Sep 2008

My Gran always took me to the fair and Yes we did have black peas with a dash of vinegar, I remember going on the Cake Walk with a friend and we were unable to get off the thing had many a laugh about it since. Mags, Leeds, England

29th Jul 2008

the fairy"s on the sticks and all the stalls,dont forget the peas susan, wigan, lancs

26th Jun 2008

isn't it funny how the rides haven't changed. If you see a fair today they still have paintings of Elvis and Marylin Monroe, James Dean etc on them? Andy Chattin, Wigan, England

23rd Jun 2008

My mum & dad wouldn't take me to Wigan fair but my auntie said she would take me. She took me on the caterpillar. She paid for us both and as the caterpillar started to move, I panicked and jumped off, leaving my auntie going round on the caterpillar on her own. The following day several of her work friends asked her what she was doing on her own on the caterpillar!!! She was so embarrassed. Susan Elizabeth Bowden, Wigan, Lancashire
Black Peas at the fair was the best. Then over to the pot stalls all in lights and the banter of the stall holders, my first dinner set was from there but my mum made me wait until we got the soup bowls etc. etc thrown in. It is funny they did not smash the way they handled them. Vivian Halsall nee Grange, Margaret River, Western Australia
i worked on buterworths blackpea stall for over 15 years and the owner of buterworths is still alive and in good health at over 87 yerars old who i visit regiulary david guest, wigan, lancs
Wow the memories come flooding back.I was about eight at the time.My father had taken us there for a rare treat. The dark cold night was punctuated by the bright lights, loud gay music, and people screaming with delight. It was thrilling. My eyes nearly popping out of their socket, there was so much to see. At the end of the night, when we were good and cold. we would make our way to the black pea tent. In each tent, of which there were about a 12. Would be a huge steel drum bubbling away with the black peas. We would get our cup of boiling hot peas and sit on the wobbly wooden bench warming our hands on the cups till the peas were cool enough to eat. Bliss Lynne, Stamford Lincs, GB
My grandma used to take us to the fair, the black peas on a cold night were great, we usually spent up and had to walk home to Wigan. More than anything else i remember the smells of deisel, candy floss etc i hated the waltzer but dodgems great. Does anyone remember the old lady outside the market hall selling shoelaces "two pairs for sixpence black or brown" there were no buy one get one free in those days. Glenis Fletcher, north wales, uk
I remember taking my typing exams at the Tech Building opposite the Market Square. Trying to type for 5 minutes without errors whilst the music played for the rides! No double glazing to block out the noise in those days. Diane T, Lancaster, England
I remember going to wigan fair in the early sixties.Would stand around the side of the waltzer trying to look cool.There was no atmosphere like it with the smell of the food and the noise of the rides.Great memories. jeff hallsworth, toronto, canada
i remember my fighting inthe ring at the fair percy lomax afterwards he would buy me black peas good old days? jimmy lomax, wigan, lancashirei
I remember Hindley Fair in the late 40s early 50s. "SEE THE BIGGEST RAT IN THE WORLD". That got our interest. Turned out to be a coypu but what did we know. The Boxing Booths challenging the local youths to survive 3 rounds for prize money. The professional fighters on the booths standing there calmly eyeing the crowd. Hard men who knew their craft. They had to be to challenge those equally hard miners. Luckily it was gloves and not clogs they fought with or the fairs would have gone bankrupt. fred howarth, truro, uk
I went to the fair every year as a child with the shop delvery boy in cherge of me. I felt really grown up as he was about 13 and I being a few years younger wasn't allowed to go alone. I also loved the black peas. My favourite ride was the waltzer. Mags Mags, Wigan, england
to many years ago to remember i went to wigan gaff that was the start of the best years of my life working on the whip then for years on herbies waltzer then came along health&safty need i say more. redhead andy. andy hurst, hindley wigan, england
I too remember the striptease, as the girl started to undo her bra, the boss would run on, blow the whistle and close the curtains! fred foster, wigan, england
I met my friends cousin from essex on a blind date in 1959 we went to the fair and when the canopy came over the caterpillar he gave me my 1st kiss we wrote 2 each other and married at Whelley chapel in 1963 still tog 4children 8 grandchildren this is my memory of the fair how could i forget? kath lee, wickford, essex
I remember wigan fair the black peas being scared to death on the waltzer,the big wheel and the caterpillar also my uncles challenging the boxers until they got banned because they were always winning. graham grange, christchurch, new zealand
Wigan Market ,I don't remember the fair ,but i do remember the pot fair twice a year i think it was .I also remember the old Market with its wooden floor boards and plastic doors to the veg section discount daisy footware ,the hand bag man outside by the veg area with the different coloured leather squares and pull strings handles I Would love to go back in time just for one more shop around ,I was at Mesnes High when it was demolished what a sad day . Diana McNab, Market Drayton, Shropshire
happy memories of wigan fair boxing and wrestling booths the many stalls the noise and smell of the generators and walking on the cobbles accompanied of course by the inevitable rain brian unsworth, sandside cumbria, england
I don't remember it myself but I know it's where my mum and dad (Eric & Marie Dowbekin) met on the fair nearly 45 years ago. I never tire of hearing the story of all the lads stood watching the girls walk round the fair. Needless to say, one paticular night my dad got lucky and they have been together ever since!!! Awwwwwwww!! Nicki Holden (nee Dowbekin), St Helens, UK
black peas yes please, would love a tub of em just now, loved all the fairground rides "waltzer got to be favourite" remember squashing my very petite auntie ethel on the swirl "poor thing" she was on the outside end of the seat with me n my mum n every time it swung out she got sqwashed "ouch", we all loved every minute of it though jean mcpherson (nee crane), colwyn bay, wales
Black Peas - mum always forbade me going into the tent - I don't know what she imagined went on in there. Needless to say, I went in many a time and ate Black peas out of tin cups with pepper and vinegar on. Perhaps I missed something?? Still consider them a delicacy and always buy them at fairs or make panfulls on bonfire night. Anne Slevin (Clapham), Newburgh, Wigan WN8 7NB, U.K.
reply to Martin Cox re Wigan Fair photographs Have you tried Smiths Bookshop (upstairs) in Mesnes Street Wigan. They used to have quite a number of "old Wigan photographs" for sale up on the wall. Also the Book Clearance Centre in the corner of the new shopping precinct (near the glass lift) have a number of "Old Wigan" books with photographs - worth a try Maureen Rutter, Coppull Moor Nr Chorley, England
I loved the black peas I enjoyed on Wigan Fair and the habit has stayed with me 50 years later. I still seek out "pigeon peas" (now usually sold as "Gunga peas" in Indian delis) and boil them up in a beef stock mixture with a small bit of ham for flavour. Give them a try. A cupful of peas with two Oxos, a teaspoon of Bovril, several tablespoons of malt vinegar (balsamic doesn't work!) and a decent quantity of salt (healthy this is not!)in the average large saucepan is all you really need. But take care to steep the peas overnight first. They can be lethally purgative if you're not careful! Dave Dave Richards, Uckfield, East Sussex
My granddad took me to Wigan Fair to see the Fat lady and the tattooed man. Now they,re Everywhere. Albert Moore, Wiigan, UK
I worked on the fair for silcocks.I also ate black peas which were served in cups with a squirt of vinegar,they were washed in a bowl of water which was very seldom changed,When giving change on the "Caterpillar" when it was up to top speed you had to leap at least four cars before the one you wanted.It looked so easy,but very dangerous. Alan Hunter, Tamworth Staffs, UK
when i was about 6 in 1963,i always wanted to go on the big wheel,so my sister took me on it,as soon as it went up i started to cry,i was terified of it,i cried so much they had to stop it and let me off,i ran back to mum and cried all the way home,....never went on one again. tommy ellison, ex-wiganer in the lakes, england
does any body remember it looked like a big tub and motoe bikes went round it on the inside it used to frighten me to death but most of all i loved the pot stalls i would stand there for hours just to hear the banter Lewis, Wigan, England
I remember the fair the sounds & lights steam engines with all the lights on them much better veiw sat upstairs on the no54 LUT bus for Leigh on our way home to Bickershaw.Also who's was the new's paper stall at the end between the bolton LUT and chorley Ribble bus stands facing the phone boxes. Brian Naylor, Wigan, Lancs

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