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simmo

Interesting Facts about where you live.

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Something I personally find interesting about my adopted home these past 20 years (and the next few before we return to Sydney) of Warwick, England is that is has held a Mop Fair annually for 700 years!

On the Friday and Satuday following 12th October every year the town centre is taken over for the Mop Fair, then 3 weeks later by The Runaway Mop

These days the fair is a travelling fairground with the typical rides and games but originally it was a  job fair where local laborers and employers would meet.  Labourers would be hired on a 3 week trial basis - hence the Runaway Mop Fair 3 weeks later where either party could back out of their arrangement and seek another one.   As you can imagine, where people gather, stalls gather selling food, drink and equiptment so the event grew and the industrial revolution added steam powered rides and the whole thing eventually morphed into a modern day fairground event.  The pig-roast remains a key feature from those early days and the first slice of meat is auctioned for charity

Warwick. Market Place, Ox roast during the Mop - Our Warwickshire

Mop Fair Hog Roast, 1920's

No-one knows where the name "Mop" comes from  but historians best guess is that the labourers wore some sort of symbol to identify their trade and that these symbols were known as a Mop

As far as I can ascertain, the event started  when Edward 1st passed the Statute of Labourers in 1351 - a very unpopular law that sought to stop workers demanding higher pay and resigning from jobs to go to another employer during a bouyant labour market that followed the Bubonic Plague.  Hopefully not something the current UK government considers bringing back as a solution to our current labour shortage!!

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British  | Lived in Australia 2001-02 on 457   | Married Aussie wife & moved back to UK | Plan to return to Sydney 2026 when all kids have finished school

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The heritage walk round Bawtry was fascinating from the discovery that Roman remains were found where the Roman road from Lincoln to York crosses the river Idle, that we were once a river port trading with the Baltic to the establishment of Bawtry as a “new town” at the end of the 12th century, granted a charter for a fair in 1213 by King John.  Bawtry Hall was built in 1785 with its dower house intended for the widow.  The hall was used as bomber command by the RAF during the war and as recently as the Falklands.  It’s now a very popular wedding venue. I discovered a link with Australia in one of the churchyards.

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And finally from Bawtry, how about this for an address? The Nottinghamshire border is just a couple of hundred metres from this house built in 1800.

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Jimmy Cook, master of the bark 'Endeavour', sailed past Ball Bay in 1770. He named Cape Hillsborough, after one of the benefactors of the expedition.

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Jim lad was sailing north into a shallow bay and had to do a right-hand -down-alot and called that Bay Repulse Bay. He then saw a deep water channel on June 3rd sailed along through it and that was called Whitsunday Passage. On the 7th Sunday after Easter 1770, he claimed all the islands and district The Whitsundays.

Strangely, he only named a few of the numerous islands; But he gave them the general name of The Cumberland Islands; the rest were left to Staff Commander E.P. Bedwell in 1879.

Cheers, Bobj.

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Moonee Ponds - birth place of Dame Edna Everage.

The local council have embraced this fact - my local kebab shop is on Everage Street.

Definitely more interesting than the hole that is Greenhithe🤣

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