Monday, 22 June 2009

the Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor

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click to enlarge
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what is claimed to be Europe's largest travelling fair is held in the last week in June on the Town Moor in Newcastle upon Tyne. A similar claim is made of the Nottingham Goose Fair.

The name has several possible origins but my preference is a derivation from the Anglo-Saxon word "hoppen" which means funfair.

The fair is supposed to have been cursed by an old gypsy woman who was thrown off the moor and as a result swore a curse that it would rain during the fair every year, this often does happen , which can be seen in the distant sky in the photo .
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The Town Moor on which the fair is held is a large area of common land; larger than Hyde park in London, completely surrounded by the City. It is not laid out as a park, it being more an area of rough pasture upon which Freemen of the city have the right to graze cattle.
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This photo, taken at dusk, tries to capture these special elements of Newcastle life.
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