Ilkeston Fair Collection
Title: Ilkeston Fair Collection
Scope: This collection contains documents relating to Ilkeston Charter Fair
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator: Erewash Borough Council
Administrative / biographical history: Ilkeston Charter Fair was first granted in 1252. Held on the first Thursday after the first Sunday after the 11th of October, the event has remained in its traditional setting, the market square, over the past seven centuries.
The start of hiring fairs or mops can be traced to the fourteenth century with the passing of the Statute of Labourers in 1351 by Edward III. The agricultural calendar in Ilkeston dictated the holding of a Statutes or Hiring Fair in October and both events continued to be held into the nineteenth century.
In 1888 the Assumption Fair and the Statute Fair were amalgamated and from there onwards one event was adopted which became known as the Charter Fair and was held during Wakes Week in October.
The fair became strongly fixed in the minds of its controlling authority in 1931 when it received its first civic opening, when Councillor Beardsley, became the first Mayor of Ilkeston to officially open the fair.
Ilkeston Charter fair is a classic example of a sprawling street fair that takes over the town, transforming the everyday experience and aesthetics into an entirely new purpose. Fairground rides, stalls and juveniles are squeezed into every space possible, the main streets transformed into a festival of lights, music, screams and mechanical groans with large fairground machines meticulously positioned for maximum impact.
Source: Erewash Borough Council
System of arrangement: Catalogued according to type
Subjects: Fairgrounds, Travelling Entertainment, Business
Conditions of access: Items are available to view by appointment in the NFA reading room
Copyright: Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of National Fairground Archive, subject to copyright law and condition of the material
Finding aids: Online finding aid available here