Tavistock Goose Fair

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Tavistock Goose Fair dates back to the early 12th century starting off as Michaelmas Fair which was held every September, the name changing to Goose Fair over time. No one is sure where the name ‘Goose’ came from but was probably picked up and used because of Farmers bringing their Geese to market on that date.

The annual event brings in traders from all over the country and many numbers of visitors to the Town on that day.

Tavistock becomes very hectic on that day and the main Plymouth road is closed so that traders can setup their stalls. Stalls used to be setup on each side of Plymouth road, leaving the narrow walkway in the middle for shoppers. It was only about 18 years ago that the stall permits were cut and only one side of the road allocated for stalls, this was due to health and safety reasons.

Tavistock Goose FairGoose Fair this Year is …. updated shortly

…. Us smelled the sage and onion ‘alf a mile from Whitchurch Down
And didn’t us ‘ave a blow out when us come into the town….

TAVISTOCK GOOSEY FAIR

(Traditional English / C. J. Tryhall)

‘Tis just a month come Friday next, Bill Champerdown and me
Us traipsed across old Darty Moor, the Goosey Fair to see
Us made ourselves quite fitty, us greased and oiled our hair
Then off us goes in our Sunday clothes behind old Bill’s grey mare
Us smelled the sage and onion ‘alf a mile from Whitchurch Down
And didn’t us ‘ave a blow out when us come into the town
And there us met Ned Hannoford, Jan Steer and Nicky Square
And it seemed to we, all Devon must be to Tavistock Goosey Fair
And its oh, and where be a-going
And what be a-doing of there
Heave down your prong and stamp along
To Tavistock Goosey Fair

Us went to see the ‘orses and the ‘effers and the yews
Us went on all them roundabouts and into all the shows
And then it started raining and blowing in our face
So off us goes down to the Rose to ‘ave a dish of tay
And then us had a sing song and the folks kept dropping in
And what with one an’ t’other, well, us had a drop of gin
And what with one an’ t’other, us didn’t seem to care
Whether us was to Bellever Tor or Tavistock Goosey Fair
And its oh, and where be a-going
And what be a-doing of there
Heave down your prong and stamp along
To Tavistock Goosey Fair

‘Twere raining streams and dark as pitch when us trotted ‘ome that night
An’ when us got past Merrivale Bridge, our mare, ‘er took a fright
Says I to Bill, “Be careful, you’ll ‘ave us in them drains”
Says ‘e to me, “Cor bugger, why ‘aven’t you got the reins?”
Just then the mare ran slap against a whacking gert big stone
‘Er kicked the trap to flibbits and ‘er trotted off alone
And when it come to reckoning, ’tweren’t no use standing there
Us ‘ad to traipse ‘ome thirteen mile from Tavistock Goosey Fair
And its oh, and where be a-going
And what be a-doing of there
Heave down your prong and stamp along
To Tavistock Goosey Fair

 

January 14, 2016 |

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