The people of Truro enjoyed a number of annual events to escape the hum-drum of everyday life in the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries.
Four fairs were held each year; the Mid-Lent Fair in March; the November Fair, staged at High Cross since medieval times (also known as “Five Weeks Fair”, “”Glove Fair or “Bullock and Beast Fair”); and Fortnights Fair, which was was held on the 8th of December. The most anticipated of all was Whitsun Fair, held every June.
The main purpose of these fairs was the buying and selling of cattle and sheep, but the novelties and entertainments also on offer drew crowds from across Cornwall and beyond.
Travelling circuses arrived parading elephants, lions, tigers and dancing bears through the streets. Showmen entertained the crowds who had travelled from all over the county dressed in their Sunday best.
The images to the right depict the Bonny Baby Competion and Hancocks Living Pictures
Click below to listen to Noel & Ingrid Drew recalling the circus boxing booths.