Annual fairs in Peebles; visits from travelling circuses and...
Date 1971
Track ID 26960
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Annual fairs in Peebles; visits from travelling circuses and a waxworks; smaller circuses.

There was a lot of fun to be had in Peebles in David Lawson's youth. There were three annual fairs, two of which, now [1971] dying out, were hiring fairs in March and October; the other was instituted at the time of Queen Victoria's Jubilee. The fairs were treated as holidays for all. Show people came, and there were switchback railways, hobby horses, and other attractions. The High Street was covered with stands selling sweets and other things. The sellers mostly came from Edinburgh, but a one-legged man came from Biggar and used to sit opposite the Tontine with his wares, costing a penny each, spread out on sheets of newspaper.

Travelling circuses came in summer, usually Sanger's circus, which had a procession through the High Street with horses and elephants and a band in a wagonette. Mr Lawson's favourite travelling show was Mander's waxworks, which had fifteen wagons filled with wax figures and drawn by horses, which were all dapple grey. When Sanger's circus was in town their horse tents stretched from one bridge to the other. The big top was in the middle, and the four elephants in a separate shed. A one-man circus, consisting of a clown and a horse, also visited the town. Later there was a local circus, Pinder's, which still exists. The daughter of the one-man circus married a Pinder. A family quarrel split Pinder's circus into three and it was never the same again.

Item Location

County - Peeblesshire

Parish - Peebles

Village/Place - Peebles