Bingham Market Place

Photo:Bingham Market Place today - A bustling place for the weekly Thursday Market

Bingham Market Place today - A bustling place for the weekly Thursday Market

Picture taken March 2014

Photo:Bingham Market Place prior to 1960 - a muddy, rutted area?

Bingham Market Place prior to 1960 - a muddy, rutted area?

The landmark Buttercross is in the centre of this picture

Photo:Souvenir Programme for Bingham's 'Olde English Fayre' of July 1960

Souvenir Programme for Bingham's 'Olde English Fayre' of July 1960

For a full list of the day's events, see the Downloads link below

Today Bingham's market place is an attractively paved area, regularly a-buzz with a lively weekly market and featuring, at its focal point, the iconic Butter Cross.

It is interesting to record, therefore, that until as recently as 1960 the square was entirely unpaved making it resemble (as one writer put it) "nothing so much as a mud patch in winter and a dust heap in summer".

It was in 1950 that plans were first put forward to improve the situation, and ten years later, after and expenditure of £6000, the, the scheme was finally complete and officially opened on 2nd July 1960.

Time Capsule

The new upgraded square was characterised by a neat arrangement of paving, cobblestones, trees, decorative planters and seats.

A time capsule containing copies of the local newspapers, council minutes and coins of the realm was buried beneath the new surface.

An Olde English Fayre

To commemorate the upgrading of this historic public space, an 'Olde English Fayre' was planned for Saturday 2nd July 1960.

Organised by the Bingham Rural District Council, all proceeds from the fayre went to the Ryder Cheshire Foundation Fund.

The organisers were fortunate in securing the prescence of Sue Ryder OBE, wife of the famous Second World War bomber pilot, G/C Leonard Cheshire VC, DSO, DFC to be on hand to open the celebrations.

Stalls of all types were present with the Royal Canadian Air Force building a log cabin in front of the Crown Inn as a general refreshment store - proceeds going to the Cheshire Foundation.

Costumed characters were everywhere, depicting market traders through the ages - a pie man, a girl selling lavender - members of the South Notts Hunt pony club dressed as Robin Hood and his merry men, a harse-drawn brewers dray from the Shipstone's brewery of Nottingham, and a Town Crier in full ceremonial regalia.

Even 'Queen Victoria' paid a visit - in commemoration of her actual visit to Bingham around 100 years earlier.

Around 3000 people were said to have attended the event, a splendid time being had by all.

** For a full programme of the day's events, see the Downloads link below

A Weekly Market ?

There are records of a market being held in Bingham as far back as 1278, and in 1314 Edward II granted a charter to the widow Alice de Bingham and her son, Sir william de Bingham, to hold a weekly town market and two fairs annually.

The weekly market was still a feature of town life well into the 19th century, although by the 1880s, local trade directories recorded its decline.  In 1885  the weekly market was described as being "of only trifling importance", whilst the thrice yearly livestock and hiring fairs were considered "almost obsolete".  In 1888 no market was listed at all.

In July 1975 the Nottingham Evening Post (9-7-1975) reported a decision to re-establish the weekly Thursday market, noting that it would take place again "for the first time in living memory".

The new revived market retained its Thursday date under the dictates of the original medieval charter, and it was officially opened by the Mayor of Rushcliffe, Mrs Joyce Dixon, on 10th July 1975.

Since that time Bingham's Thursday market has continued unabated, becoming a focal point of town life once more.



bing.pdf (377k)

Olde_English_Fayre_Programme.pdf (377k)

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