It would be wrong in dealing with Hoppings in the Gateshead area without acknowledging that all Gateshead folk regard the main event in the North East to be the Hoppings on the Newcastle Town Moor
So, that's done
Also, the hoppings at Blaydon, the subject of a song by a Central Gateshead lad, has become the anthem for all Geordies worldwide
Many areas had, indeed still have, smaller events held throughout the year
The Whitsuntide Fair or “Hoppings” took place in Victoria Square outside the Blue Bell Public House. Early attractions included a donkey race, foot race, climbing greasy pole and an old ladies race for the prize of a flannel petticoat. In the 19th century, roundabouts, penny shows and ginger bread stalls were added. A dispute arose in 1888 when the size of the fair hindered the Sunday School procession through the square. The fair was then restricted to the area at the top of Holly Hill Road.
The Greasy Pole
(In Blaydon, during the hoppings in the 1800s a greasy pole was raised opposite the Black Bull. A prize, such as a leg of mutton, was attached to the top which people attempted to reach. )
In later years the Felling Hoppings moved to the Bankies (Quarry Banks)
Windmill Hills Hoppings
A snap taken by JB of his cousin at the Hoppings in 1967, during her visit from Canada
"An open area near to the town centre it was used for fairs or 'hoppings', sports days, concerts, election meetings as well as being a pleasant place to go for a walk."
"..And o' the Sunday afternoons wor fathers teuk us there
To get the town stink blawn away and snuff the country air"
1900 That's adventurous shuggying
There was knock-kneed Mat, wiv's purple suit,
An' hopper-hipp'd Dick aw yellow, O;
Greet Tom was there, wi' Hepple's aud coat,
An' buck-sheen'd Bob frae Stella, O.
Hoppings, Fairs brought to you by
The Felling Heritage Group