Lincoln September Fair has been visiting the city for more than seven decades and is back this week - but it may never have taken place at all if it hadn’t been for the outbreak of the Second World War.
The event was started in the early 1940s, in the days when the time-honoured April Pleasure Fair left its traditional home on the Monks Road Cattle Market to move to the wide open spaces of the South Common.
People were being urged not to take their annual holidays during the war, and all over the country, local authorities were starting “Stay-at-home” fun fairs to encourage people not to make long journeys. Lincoln was no exception and in late July and early August, a new fair was launched on the South Common to lift the spirits of the locals and visiting service personnel.
When hostilities came to an end, the summer fair continued until it was moved to its present September date in the 1950s.
The City of Lincoln Council-owned South Common now hosts two fairs a year - in April and September. They are run by the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, and are attended by showmen whose families have been running the rides and stalls for generations. This year’s September fair runs from Friday 11 September to Saturday 19 September.
Councillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Recreational Services and Health, said: “It is great to see the Showmen’s Guild continuing to deliver fairs in Lincoln, providing family fun and entertainment.
“The fairs date back many decades and add to history of the city.
“I’m sure it will continue to be enjoyed by many when it opens next week.”
The fair gets under way on the evening of Friday 11 and will open most evenings, but closed on Sunday 13 and Monday 14.
Opening times are:
Weekdays - 5.30pm to 10pm
Saturday - 2pm to 10pm
The £1 nights will take place on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16.