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"Poor Old Greenwich Fair"
A very nice find by our President in the archives of the National Library of Scotland.
Come all you lads and lasses to my ditty lend a ear
Do you know the rogues have done away with poor old Greenwich Fair,
When at Easter and at Witsuntide we used to go so gay
By wind and steam so merrily to pass dull care away. ... See MoreSee Less
Anthony CrossHere, below, is a transcription of the verses: all werry redolent of the raucous affair, and poignant too, that at this date it stood on the brink of 'suppression', i.e. closure by the authorities who saw it as a 'focus of iniquity in London ... a barbarous relic of a bygone age'. This eventually happened in 1857. I particularly like the curse in the third from last verse: "Oh cruel was the naughty rogues how could they ever dare To sign a long petition to kill old Greenwich fair May they never see a comfort may they never taste a nut May they die upon the river with a scratcher in their guts" Poor Old Greenwich Fair Come all you lads and lasses to my ditty lend a ear Do you know the rogues have done away with poor old Greenwich fair, When at Easter and at Witsuntide we used to go so gay By wind and steam so merrily to pass dull care away, No at Easter and at Witsuntide no more we shall repair, Oh cruel was the rogues who done away with Greenwich fair, We used to go to Greenwich fair and there have such a lark to see the pretty maidens rolling down through Greenwich park, Then into the swings they hasten and go flying in the air, There was never such a pretty place as poor old Greenwich fair. There was roasted pigs and nanny-goats in Grenwich fair was sold There was hats and ladies' bustles trim'd with Callefornia gold There was lovely cocks & bretches saveleys & hot pea soup Three sticks a penny in the hole and pricking in the loop, What lots of fun and humour used to be at Greenwich fair There was Billy Punch and Judy too in all their glory there There was firing at the target and lollypops to sell, And private rooms for ladies to play at Bagatelle. I never shall forget the time and I'm sure will never you When old Brown upon his salt box used to play the rat too Last Friday night the Baker's wife did solemnly declare, She saw the ghost of Billy Richardson dancing round the Fair. She saw the ghost of Algiers too, which made old doughy jump He had eleven gas lamps hanging to his rump She saw old Woombell's elephant dancing in the dark And then upon the fair ground met the ghost of Billy Clark Nine pretty maids in Greenwich Park one easter I did see Who wished to look and see a cock climb up a chestnut tree But what a lark the bough it broke and they could not hold fast When down they came upon their bums a rolling on the grass. Oh cruel was the naughty rogues how could they ever dare To sign a long petition to kill old Greenwich fair May they never see a comfort may they never taste a nut May they die upon the river with a scratcher in their guts Old Greenwich was delightful when the shop boys were let loose The Barber sold his lather box the tailor Sold his goose, The cobler sold his lapstone to banish grief and care, And sally pawned her linen smock to go to Greenwich fair Then weep you lads and lasses lie down and shed a tear, And cry oh dear we never more shall see old Greenwich fair W, Dever, 18, Gt. St Andrew Street, Seven Dials.2 weeks ago · 3
Greenwich Historical Society added 3 new photos to the album This Year's Journal. ... See MoreSee Less
Greenwich Historical Society added 2 new photos.
Thank you to our speaker Ed Richardson for negotiating his way through local gridlocked roads this evening to give us a presentation on Trinity Hospital including a screening of the short film he has made about it. ... See MoreSee Less
Look forward to seeing some of you this evening at our talk from Ed Richardson on Trinity Hospital. Doors open at 7.15. This is the last talk before our summer break and we resume in September. www.ghsoc.co.uk/2017/02/may-24-trinity-hospital-ed-richardson/ ... See MoreSee Less
Greenwich Historical Society at Woolwich Town Hall.
Neil Rhind MBE FSA, past President of our society receives the Freedom of the Borough of Greenwich from the Mayor Cllr Olu Babatola and the Leader Cllr Denise Hyland. The ceremony was in the Victoria Hall of The Town Hall in Woolwich. ... See MoreSee Less
Greenwich Historical Society shared their photo.
A well deserved honour for Neil's huge contribution to the history of Blackheath through his thoroughly researched and well-written publications, his very popular lectures and guided walks and his extraordinary achievements with the Blackheath Preservation Trust in saving so many historic buildings in the area. I will be there tonight Neil to witness this great occasion. ... See MoreSee Less
Congratulations to Neil Rhind MBE FSA - one of our Vice Presidents - who will be awarded with the Freedom of the Royal Borough of Greenwich at a meeting of Greenwich Council this evening (available to...