Mitcham Fair

August would normally see the return of Mitcham Fair, one of the most historic and long-standing fairs in the UK. Known to have been running since the seventeenth century, if not earlier, it has provided fun, news and merchandise to generations of people from across Merton, London and the South-East.

Sadly the Coronavirus pandemic forced organisers to cancel the 2020 fair - however Merton Heritage Service has compiled a range of displays, film footage, reminiscences and activities for fairground enthusiasts, young and old.

We hope you enjoy using our new fairground resources.


Online Displays.

Click the links below to view online displays about the history of Mitcham Fair and the British Fairground.

Vintage fairground amusements


Vintage Fairground Amusements

A Nostalgic Spin Around the History of the Fun Fair. ( BBC )



Mitcham Fair 1910


Mitcham Fair: Early history

Mitcham Fair: 1900s - World War II.

Mitcham Fair: 1950s - 1990s


Salisbury Fair


Charter Markets & Fairs

The Legend of Mitcham Fair




Reminiscence Materials.

Use the links below to view a range of films, sounds and materials designed to trigger memories of Mitcham Fair. This collection includes extracts from the reminiscences of local people.

Fairground organ

Fairground poems

Fairground music

Fairground carousel (sounds )

Carousel organ "Nelly the Elephant"


Mitcham Fair c1910

Mitcham Fair 1919 - 38 (Pathe films)

Mitcham Fair, 1920s, Movietone

Spotlight at the Fair, 1951 (BFI)

Fun Fair, Mitcham Common 2012


Mitcham Fair 1903

Memories of Mitcham Fair

Fairground Reminiscence material





Test Your Knowledge.

How much do you know about Mitcham Fair? Find out by trying our collection of puzzles and quizzes.

Mitcham Fair 1920s

Mitcham Fair Word Search

Word Search Answers


Mitcham Fair carousel, c.1910

Mitcham Fair Quiz

Mitcham Fair : Quiz Answers



Fairground Crafts:

Carousel horses colouring sheet

Fairground colouring sheets.


Carters Steam Fair

Carters Steam Fair Activities

Find the Ducks Activity

Sign-write your own Scammell truck


Make a recycled plastic Chairoplane

Create a paper Carousel

Make a Helter-Skelter ( CBeebies )


Where can I get more information?

If you would like to know more about the history of the British fairground, specialist collections, or where you can research your showmen or Traveller ancestry, follow the links below:

National Fairground and Circus Archive

The National & Circus Archive

This offers an amazing range of documents, archive photos, research information and news stories.

See the Research and Articles section for information on British fairs, including Mitcham Fair.

The Fairground Society caters for anyone interested in fairgrounds past and present. It also up to date information on the latest rides and transport developments.



World's Fair newspaper

The World's Fair newspaper provides articles for and about the fairground community, from historical articles and details of forthcoming events, to equipment for sale and job adverts.

The Fairground Heritage Trust offers detailed accounts of British fairgrounds, rides and people, in addition to schools resources and merchandise.

Merton Heritage & Local Studies Centre holds a range of articles about the history of Mitcham Fair.

The Centre also sells

Merton in Pictures: Mitcham Fair at a cost of £2.00 per copy


Gypsy families on Mitcham Common 1880

Surrey History Centre fairground sources offers online access to photographs, details of fairground books, articles and useful websites. The archive also holds the Philip Bradley fairground collection and the Manning family ( showmen's ) papers.

The Romany & Traveller Family History Society offers information and support for people tracing their Traveller ancestry. This includes details of fairground workers and historical information on British fairs. 




For more heritage resources, visit our History Pages & Activities section.