Pirate FM News 4 minute read

Tavistock celebrates its famous Goose Fair

Tavistock celebrates its famous Goose Fair

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:10am 9th October 2019.

Thousands of people are set to descend on Tavistock, as it celebrates Goose Fair 2019!

Pirate FM will be at the event, which is one of the biggest in the town's calendar and dates back to the 12th century.

As well as all the stalls, 'Goosey Fair' has markets, food, drink and of course, the famous fun fair.

Scroll down for everything you need to know, including where to find the stalls and how to get parked.

Mayor Anne Johnson has told Pirate FM there are a few modern twists this year...

"There will be events and activities up in the cattle market, they have an open day which is 10am to 4pm.

"Lots of geese will be there, lots of farm animals will be there.

"We're going to have a reverse vending machine, so rather than putting your money in and getting a plastic drinks bottle out, you put your empty plastic bottle in and a donation can be made to a chosen charity."

Mayor Anne Johnson

What is the history?

Goose Fair is held on the second Wednesday of October each year and the 2019 event begins on Wednesday 9th October.

"The annual Goose Fair in Tavistock dates back to the early 12th Century when a Michaelmas Fair, held every September 29th, provided the opportunity for business and animal trading, and was a social event for wives and daughters. 

"The name Goose Fair probably came about as farmers brought their geese ready for fattening for Christmas, and the only other Goose Fair (in Nottingham) has a similar connection.

"When the new calendar was introduced in 1752 the 'loss' of 11 days changed the date of the Michaelmas Fair to October 10th, and now the Fair is held on the second Wednesday in October each year.

"Market traders come from all over the country to sell their wares and provide entertainment. Stalls and side shows are set up in the centre of the Town, and some 200 spaces are let by the Town Council for traders and community groups. A further 70 spaces in Bedford Car Park are let to members of the Showman's Guild by West Devon Borough Council with the car park being shut for the whole Goose Fair week".

Tavistock Town Council

Where are the stalls?

The stalls can be found on Bedford Square, The Quay, Chapel Street and the Alexander Centre.

You can check the full list, along with all the evacuation and first aid points, on the council's website here.

Road closures and parking?

Please be aware that there is very little parking available in the town on Goose Fair day. Therefore, use of the Park and Ride Scheme is recommended.

There will be a clearly signposted one-way system operating around the town, coming into force with road closures from 5pm on Tuesday 8th October, lasting throughout Goose Fair day on Wednesday 9th October and ending at 7am on Thursday 10th October. 

The following roads will be closed to traffic:

  • Plymouth Road from Drake's Statue to Bedford Square:
  • Abbey Place
  • Russell Street
  • Chapel Street
  • Market Street
  • Market Road
  • Canal Road
  • Gulworthy Slip Road (between B3257 & A390)

Watch some of the highlights from the Goose Fairs of years gone by...

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