For all the fun of the fair!
Friday 22nd sees the 2018 opening of The Hoppings on Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Town Moor. There are over 300 rides and attractions at the annual event, from the old favourites like ‘Hook a Duck’ to the more daring high rides, to the traditional fortune telling caravans (the Boxing Booths and Freak Shows seem to be more confined to their place in history now…)
For those of us from the North East, The Hoppings is a traditional, and much loved part of our childhood. A long running tradition, The Hoppings has been visiting Newcastle for over 130 years.
Originally set up as a tee-total alternative to the decidedly more alcohol fueled days out at the annual Race week at the Newcastle Racecourse. We can’t guarantee all those visiting the fair these days are so tempered these days, but after some lean years during the 1980s the fair is enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with more than 300,000 visitors over its’ annual 9 day run.
In the first fifty years after its’ launch a number of fairground attractions were introduced, which still remain fixtures today (although hopefully with regular safety checks, and replacement parts…)
Also in its’ first years free outings were provided for up to 3,000 underprivileged children a year.
For many children in the North East the term ‘Town Moor’ is synonyms with the fair itself- but its a cruel parent who would promise their child to take them to the ‘Town Moor’ outside of those selected weeks in June only for the excited bairn to come across:
Rather than the expected:
And yes, I do speak from bitter experience.
hoppings(Noun): An traditional annual fair, usually at Whitsuntide, formerly associated with livestock markets.
If you find yourself in the North East over the next week or so, treat yourself to a real Northern experience at the Town Moor ‘Hoppings’.