Saturday, 2 August 2014

8. A Boroughbridge Boyhood in the 1850s: "About in the Fair"

Wednesday June 18th 1856
Went to Office   At Noon Was about in the fair   At Night Steele  E.C.Clarke  Leonard  Joe  Capes  Schofield & I went down to the Swale Nab in the boat  it came on wet & we got wet through   we pulled up through the far arch   there was a little fresh down but we grated on the bottom.
The Barnaby Fair in June was the highlight of the year.  John’s parents were busy entertaining – they usually had people staying for the fair and friends, relations and valued customers would be invited to dine.  The young men were free to enjoy themselves – when they were not at work:
Monday June 23rd 1856
Drove home from Dishforth   Went to Office   At Noon I rode over to Dishforth for some Deeds   I had dinner there.   came home & went to the Office   At Night was walking about in the fair    saw two or three battles & a tumble off or two   helped the Constables & had some fine fun

Tuesday June 24th 1856
Went to office   At Noon was about home   Mr Robt Workman & Mrs W.  [of Arksey] dined with us & Uncle Wm & Aunt [Henlock].   At Night was about in the fair   Went to sup at the D[octo]rs came away about 11   Capes  Joe & I walked round the fair   had some fun & came home.

Wednesday June 25th 1856
Went to office.   At Noon was about home   At Night The Clarks of Ellinthorp  Steele & E.C.Clark  The Sedgwicks & the Hirsts were at our house to tea    we had a walk in the garden   we had singing &c   Sophy H.   Mary Sedgwick & I went into the fair to buy pins &c of Mrs Dickinson.   They left about 11

Monday June 22nd 1857
Went to Office.   At Noon was about in the fair   Nineteen of us sat down to dinner   After dinner Mr John Mitchell & I had a walk in the fair.   At Night Richd Paver, Young Houseman  Joe  Capes & I had a stroll in the fair
Richard Paver was the twenty-year-old son of the vicar of Brayton, near Selby, and related to the Picks and Howes of Ouseburn, where he learned farming.  When in 1872 he inherited Ornhams Hall from Mr Crow, he changed his name to Paver Crow.

By the early 1880s John’s mother was writing sadly,
The town looks miserably quiet and all the families are going away for Barnaby, what a change from the old times.

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