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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Thursday, 23rd March, 2023)

Mexican Wave

Mexican Wave
The Fair at Hindley.

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-WX500)
Views: 1,689

Comment by: George (Hindley) on 23rd March 2023 at 00:13

Why did the Mexican man push his wife off a cliff"?


Comment by: Gary on 23rd March 2023 at 07:05

Dennis, I remember Silcock's Faire regularly coming to Aspull - pitched on the green area in front of the Running Horses and the old police station. No Mexican Wave but lots of roll a penny and darts into playing cards.
Won a goldfish twice, in successive years - the first lasted a fortnight, the second was floating in the bowl the following morning.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 23rd March 2023 at 07:27

I know you have to keep people safe...everywhere... these days but barriers do take the edge off a funfair. I remember Wigan Fair on the open space infront...or behind the Old Market Hall, whichever way you want to look at it. No barriers back then. It was all noise, lights & music that you never heard anywhere else. Another thing your photo shows Dennis is how un-exciting fairgrounds are in daylight !

Comment by: The Spare Land on 23rd March 2023 at 08:08

Heard amid the Waltzer's blur
Screams of girls pinned to seats ,
Flying hair Medusa wild ,
As Silcock's roaring lads
Like Romans on chariots
Whirled them round .

Who saw the dodgem's tinsel fire ,
The rider's heads jolt forward
And back in thudding collisions ,
The bulbs in the puddles glowed
Like glassy crimson toffee apples ,
And the Motown music wailing .

All the sounds and light converging
At that moment The Big Wheel stopped .
And the carriage rocked in the evening breeze ,
With you and me at the very top
Looking down on the fair that hadn't been
To the spare land in years .


Comment by: Pw on 23rd March 2023 at 08:32

I remember when the fair in Hindley was behind where Woolworths used to be in Hindley in the 50/60’s.The joy of seeing the bright lights and hearing the bells ringing on the children’s rides as you turned the corner was always a thrill.Childrens rides were 3d,bigger rides 6d.Happy days.

Comment by: Kath H on 23rd March 2023 at 08:33

I remember the fair coming to Chapel Street in New Springs. It was the highlight of the year.
Also the black peas at Wigan Fair, in a tent which was always hot and steamy. The peas were delicious.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 23rd March 2023 at 08:37

A good photo, Dennis. We saw the above fair being erected just recently . It brought back so many memories of being spun round on The Waltzer by the fair-lads, with "Cathy's Clown" or Bryan Hyland's haunting "Sealed With A Kiss" playing on the night air, of tripping over the cables which snaked over the ground, of the candy floss and the toffee apples, and throwing darts at playing cards to win tawdry prizes. It is only when we grow up that we notice the dud electric light-bulbs around the stalls and the tattered gaiety. Then the magic starts all over again for our own children. I remember one disastrous visit to Hindley Fair when our Jamie threw a dart and it landed in a bowl of goldfish! Thankfully, there were no casualties and he actually won one, and, unusually for a "travelling fair"goldfish", "Glug" swam contentedly round in his bowl in our house for many years!

Comment by: Veronica on 23rd March 2023 at 08:53

There’s nothing enticing or exciting about the ‘poor relation’ of the Wigan Fair of the past. It seems any old spare ground will do. Far removed from the glory days of the fair on the Market Square. Everything about the few days it was there spelt magic. The throbbing noise, combined with the smells and the dizzying rides. The curious side shows and tents selling -God forbid - BLACK peas, probably wouldn’t be able to call them by that name these days.
Candy floss, American
hot dogs and waffles. I never tasted those but made do with the candy floss. No I’ll sit back and remember the original Wigan Fair. If anything stands out from childhood Wigan Fair is at the top of the list.

Comment by: Dennis Seddon on 23rd March 2023 at 09:34

There are signs all round the site saying No knives, no drink, no drugs. It struck me as a very sad sign of the times we live in.

Comment by: Simon on 23rd March 2023 at 09:48

I was reading that Will I Ham is going to change the name of his band to Parched Peas.

Comment by: Cyril on 23rd March 2023 at 11:43

A different look to a PaD Dennis. Looks like the health & safety has been around with a perimeter fence and a barrier around the ride too, and possibly to stop folks from standing on the sides of the ride when in motion, gangs of lads and girls too would often be congregating around the sides of rides when it was revolving, especially so around the Waltzer.

I wondered if the figure on top of the ride was a character from those computer games like Mario, that children play, but then with it looking a bit mousey and being Mexican wondered if it was Speedy Gonzales, it could be but with more colourful clothes to make the ride stand out and look more exciting.


"arriba, arriba, andale, andale, Hindley gringo pussycat".

Comment by: Cyril on 23rd March 2023 at 11:56

So there'll be no Will I Ham Shank in with the Parched Peas Simon, they must have decided to go vegan.

Comment by: The Wilted Lob on 23rd March 2023 at 12:55

Wigan Fair? No such thing, it was just the same fair as any other places fair, nothing different.

Comment by: Veronica on 23rd March 2023 at 15:11

Wilted Lob shouldn’t that be Wet Fog ?..
As a child my interpretation of the fair at Wigan was ‘Wigan Fair’ ..it always will be whether it travelled far and wide…it was our fair when it came to spend 3 days in our town..;o))

Comment by: Cyril on 23rd March 2023 at 16:20

The Wilted Lob, is the yeast you're using fresh? However it was Wigan Fair from time immemorial, and is still just the same in other towns and villages wherever the travelling fair is scheduled to stop, then the fair becomes that particular town or villages Fair, and no matter if the name of the fair is Silcock's, Carter's, Burnett's, Pat Collins or Hoppings, they all take on the name of the town or village of where they pitch up - its tradition.

True Wigan Fair hasn't been held in Wigan town centre for some years with the Market Square having gone, but folks memories of it are still there as are the images on here and in the paintings of the fair by Harry Walder. The Pot Fair on at the same time and being as popular as the Fun Fair was, especially with brides to be collecting for their bottom drawer.

Comment by: DTease on 23rd March 2023 at 19:20

I fancy the Lob is not the only thing that’s Wilted

Comment by: Cyril on 23rd March 2023 at 20:30

Good one is that DTease.
Reminded me of this: https://youtu.be/6JWotX1ymGQ

Have you read the book Wilt by Tom Sharpe, or seen the film, both are hilarious. Wilt film trailer below,

Comment by: Linma on 23rd March 2023 at 20:36

Are parched peas the same as black peas. They sell them outside The Harris Museum in Preston and I tried them a few weeks ago for the first time ever. Once bitten twice shy, yuk.

Comment by: Veronica on 23rd March 2023 at 20:50

It’s him who keeps transposing letters.
Ted Blob …

Comment by: Edna on 23rd March 2023 at 22:15

Nice poem, poet.So true about Wigan Fair.Lovely memories.

Comment by: The Bloated Prong on 23rd March 2023 at 22:33

I've always been partial to a fair. I wouldn;t go to a pot fair though, only a good one. I've never been to Wigan but I might try it sometime if the fair is there.
We have peas here in Yorkshire but they are green, not black, and are usually accompanied by a pie.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 24th March 2023 at 07:21

Poor Wilted Lob, perhaps you were ' Born to Late ' to know the excitement of going to Wigan Fair when it came to town !

Comment by: Veronica on 24th March 2023 at 07:40

Ted Pong you would be very welcome if you cross the border into Lancashire . You may be disappointed though as the town is in a state of flux at the moment. If you did find any black peas I’m afraid you would definitely feel bloated, I dare say you would be able to buy a nice pie though with some mushy green peas.

Comment by: PeterP on 24th March 2023 at 09:07

Rides used to be pence now I bet its now pounds

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 24th March 2023 at 09:15

I didnt know what sort of peas were used for black peas.....well in case anyone else out there doesn't know either....you have to use any of these varieties, black badger peas, carlin peas, pigeon peas & another one that I cant remember the name of. Its quite a job to cook them, can take up to 15hrs from start to finish. I think I will stick to the frozen variety !

Comment by: Cyril on 24th March 2023 at 14:36

Yes Linma, they are known around Lancashire as Parched Peas, Black Peas and Maple Peas, however they are Brown Carlin or Black Badger Peas, they're not to everyone's taste either and folks had or have their own ways of cooking them like as they sometimes do with marrowfat peas i.e. with aromatics, bacon or with a ham shank or bone. https://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/26298/whole-dried-black-badger-peas

The Bloated Prong, during the War of the Roses we Lancastrians held Yorkshire men as prisoners of war, before that all the Yorkists' ate was either dock pudding or crab cakes with poncy garden peas and with mint too, can you believe it, however after being held in Wigan Gaol those Yorkists POWs got a taste for our local Lancashire fayre, so when released they took back to Yorkshire our unique Lancashire recipes such as properly made cheese, baked batter puddings that they'd had with roast beef, mushy peas with battered cod and chips, curd made from Lancashire eggs and locally sourced lemons, they also smuggled out with them Rhubarb crowns which grew in the dark confines of the local candlelit gaols, from which we made rhubarb pies and crumbles along with Lancashire egg custard, they took these recipes back with them too. So Bloated Prong we Lancastrians educated you Yorkists on how to prepare, cook and eat proper food.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th March 2023 at 15:41

Bloated Ted one thing they didn’t take from us Lancs folk is our Lancashire Hotpot….feel free to try that as well. Another difference between us is how the Yorkshire ladies peg their washing in the front garden were us lot being more sedate peg out in us backyards! I must admit the Yorkshire countryside is my idea of Heaven on Earth though. Actually a 3 times Grt Granny came from Pennistone in the 1830s to Wigan… you never know we might be related at that!

Comment by: Cyril on 24th March 2023 at 16:24

This gives a bit more information on black, parched or Carlin Peas, https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/carlin-peas/

I'd never heard of Carlin Sunday. https://hodmedods.co.uk/blogs/news/76443973-lenten-peas-black-badgers-parched-peas-carlin-sunday

Maybe these black or Carlin peas came down here to Lancashire with the Newcastle miners that came to find work in the local coal mines?

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