Ilkeston - Fair Food
w/e 23 October 2016
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
Ilkeston's 764th Annual Charter Fair was officially opened at
noon on Thursday October 20th by the traditional reading of the
Royal Charter, the ringing of the ceremonial bells in the presence
of neighbouring civic dignitaries and invited excited schoolchildren
and the customary free ride. In the evening and again until Saturday,
the Market Place and surrounding streets were filled with crowds
of people enjoying the sideshows, roundabouts and amusements.
With the advent of mobile phone cameras, social media has been
awash with images from the Fair, many of them showing the stomach
churning thrill rides. One set of people that are often overlooked
are the providers of all the food and confectionery that is on
offer at the Fair. In previous years I have had various themes
running through my Fair photos on this site and this year the
theme I've chosen is "Fair Food" with a selection of
images showing some of the various edibles on offer.
Many of the showmen and traders at the Fair travel long distances
to attend what is still one of the oldest and largest street
fairs in Europe but this lady selling sausages and cheeseburgers
among her other wares has only had to travel a few miles.
A staple of the Fair food has been mushy peas with mint sauce
for as long as I can remember.
At one time of day, along with the mushy peas, shell fish were
also popular at the Fair, cockles, whelks, winkles, prawns, mussels
etc. but these are not so common now and appear to have been
replaced by joints of meat which obviously require a lot of concentration
when being carved.
Large German sausages and onions are also a relatively new addition
to the food stalls although hot dogs and hamburgers date back
Brandy Snaps and Grantham Gingerbreads are traditional fare at
the Fair and this stall had large piles of the former but gingerbreads
are very rarely seen these days.
Toffee apples too generally make an appearance at the Fair although
personally I prefer my toffees and apples separate.
And of course it wouldn't be the Fair without the candy floss
stalls, this one offering a choice of colours too.
Candy floss was on sale at many stalls and for those with a sweet
tooth, this one also had a large selection of sugar dummies.
For the more decadent fair-goer another stall combined the sale
of donuts at one end with chocolate covered fruit at the other.
Finally a treat that has evolved over the years into a large
circular lollipop. Years ago I remember these being in the shape
of a bird and when it was the Fair, all the children wanted a
"Cock on a Stick".
These images show just a few of the stalls at the Fair but if
you add other edibles that can be purchased such as Corn on the
Cob, Curry, Hot Chestnuts, Pancakes, Noodles, Waffles, Bacon
Cobs, Roast Beef, Pork and Turkey and of course, Chips with everything
then you can see that if you were to sample everything, it would
be just as stomach churning as the thrill rides.