What does the story of fairs reveal about life in Britain over time?

Fairs are a useful device to study in a particular time or over time. Their economic function was very important in the pre-industrial age. Over time the fair has lost its importance as a hub of economic activity, but it has kept other functions. Fairs continue to exist in many parts of the country and are part of local culture, from the Nottingham Goose Fair to the Appleby Horse Fair, and from St Giles’ Fair to Hull Fair. Gypsy and Traveller people have long been associated with fairs.

The text, task and images are fully adaptable to your setting. You can transfer them into other formats. You might:

  • Use the information in separate sections as you teach the different time periods, either directly with students or just to inform your teacher talk.
  • Set the work in one lesson, or as a homework, as a mini thematic context to help students link periods of learning together.
  • Use the information in your curriculum to ensure that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people do not just appear as victims of oppression in history.
  • Use the information as context to learning about a local fair and the local economy in your area.

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