OVER the next few weeks in Looking Back we are looking at some of the events that have made Warrington great.

This week we are taking at look at St Andrew’s Fair, which traditionally took place at the end of the November.

Historically, St Andrew’s Fair was one of Warrington’s two fairs and was held from the 13th century and lasted throughout Victorian times.

It would have been part of the cycle of fairs held throughout the land on various saints’ days like the St Nicholas Fairs held in cities such as York.

It began on the eve of St Andrew’s Day, November 30, and lasted eight days, probably to make it worthwhile for all the travelling traders to attend.

There was an opening procession to the Old Market Place (now Golden Square) headed by civic dignitaries and the town crier who read out a proclamation to open the event and warned idlers, vagrants and vagabonds to depart.

There were lots of wooden stalls for traders from all over the country.

Reports at the time stated: “Where might be seen piles of broadcloth from the West of England, and equal piles of narrow cloth from Yorkshire, with flannels and knitted stockings from Wales, cutlery and hardware from Sheffield and Birmingham, linens from Ireland, and toys, eatables, confectionery and sweetmeats from everywhere.”

The crowds were entertained by all kinds of sideshows and entertainers and noisy music, with swing boats and travelling circus performers and exotic creatures such as a mermaid.

“There was a cow parade on the first day and then on the second day a horse fair (near to Central Station and reached by Horsemarket Street) and displays of horse drawn vehicles,” the report added.