Europe′s largest travelling Fun Fair (Carnival as many know these) Held Race week mid to latter part of June every Year, located the Local Town Moor, next to the city centre.
The Hoppings as we know it began as a temperance festival back in 1882, although its history has been traced back to 1721, when horse racing took place on the Moor. Since the word Hoppings is Anglo Saxon for Hoppen meaning "Fair", its roots may well lie even further back in the mists of time.
The first shows on the Town Moor in 1882 would have been spooky ghost illusion booths and marionette puppet shows. From 1898, people might have got their first glimpse of moving pictures in fairground bioscope shows – an early form of cinema. By 1924 ghost trains, dancing girls and boxing academies had become the must see shows.
Among the intriguing mix of shows at the Hoppings described in a 1937 report in The World’s Fair are "the Pindar’s family with a circus and menagerie, John Collins new Show Boat Theatre, Jack Parry’s wonder show featuring Big Chief Red Snake, Richard Shufflebottom’s Texan sports, Charlie Birch’s Water Circus and Professor Testo with his flea circus."
Things have certainly moved on since then, with something new and exciting being added to one of the city’s oldest traditions every year.
2007 saw it′s 125th year. It grew out of the Temperance Festival that was held on the Town Moor from 1882, which itself replaced the horse races that had taken place on the site since 1721.
When the notoriously rowdy Newcastle Race Week Festival moved to Gosforth Park, the Temperance Movement and Freemen of Newcastle decided to create their own event.
It used to hold Horse and Dog Racing as well as Dancing, and would have been a real old fashioned family day out. The name Hoppings also is said to originate (according to elderly geordie folk)
from the dances that the show girls used to do to entertain the visitors. (Possibly also of US origin reference a dance being known as the Hop). Once held in Armstrong Park in Jesmond Dene due
to the War. It is also said that the name "Race Week" originates from the hoppings itself, from all the racing that took place there.
It Rains just about every Year, this is commonly thought to be, as direct result of an old Gypsy traveller, who was apparently thrown off the town moor. And as result, in anger she laid curse that the fair have bad weather forever. 2007 saw the worst rains as yet
Colin Noble joint organiser may be contacted for exact dates next start date likely to be Friday 19th June 2009 we will confirm nearer the date*.
Usually held Friday until a Saturday one week later, occasional extra days some years. Times are 2pm each day closing at 11.30pm on weekdays, 11.45pm on Saturdays and 10pm on Sundays.
Showmen interested in participation or other events contact, Colin noble senior the former president of the showman′s guild of Great Britain (the governing body for the industry). Nobles Fun Fairs