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[Note 668.1] The broadside names the air as "Cork Leg". Given the nature of that melody and the length of the piece It seems likely that the printer just put down the first tune that came into his head. Knott Mill Fair is a dialect piece much more suited to recitation.

[Note 668.2] "Fair Ashton faded from our view";- The station, Ashton,station opened on 13 April 1846. It was later renamed Ashton Under Lyne [Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashton-under-Lyne_railway_station]

[Note 668.3] Soon brother Jack came from his work,":- Jack is working on a Bank Holiday

[Note 668.4] "He'd go with me to Knott Mill Fair". The fair was abolished in 1876. It took place near the current Deansgate Station which was then called Knott Mill and Deansgate. That station opened in 1849. (see Note 668.5) .[Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deansgate_railway_station]

[Note 668.5] We call'd at Admiral Collingwood.":- Seemingly the narrator arrived at Manchester Store Street (now Piccadilly) that opened in 1842. The Admiral Collingwood stood on Fleet Street which connected Deansgate with Lower Mosley Street and would have been on the route from Store Street to Knott Mill. Fleet Street was destroyed by the construction of Manchester Central Station in 1875
[[Pubs of Manchester http://pubs-of-manchester.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/admiral-collingwood-fleet-street.html]
Manchester Store Street (now Piccadilly) was brought into use in 1842 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield,_Ashton-under-Lyne_and_Manchester_Railway

[Note 668.6] "First Wombwell with his brazen band":- George Wombwell (1777 - 1850) Founded Wombwell's Travelling Menagerie
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wombwell]

[Note 668.7] "The living wonders are inside. There wax-works figures catch the eye":- The waxwork display together with the freak show was perhaps the most continually popular travelling type of exhibition in the nineteenth century. The shows worked on the principal of exhibiting celebrities, items of anatomical interest and, of course, the chamber of horrors
[Ref: National Fairground and Circus Archive https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/nfca/researchandarticles/waxworkandtableauxvivants]

[Note 668.8] "At what is called the Trumpet Inn":- The Old Trumpet Inn is in Bridgwater Street, not far from Knott Mill and on route back to Store Street.
[Pubs of Manchester http://pubs-of-manchester.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=trumpet]

[Note 668.9] "Now twirl about was all the go, My pockets filled to overflow, My luck was good I won each time" :- It seems that "twirl about" was a game of some sort seemingly played with nuts.

[Note 668.10] "And off to Islington did go":- Islington Mill is to the north east of Piccadilly (then Store Street)

[Note 668.11] "Then to Luck's Hall we straightway went" The Lucks All stood on the corner of Gray Street which was off Carruthers Street and Mill Street in what is now called New Islington.
[Pubs of Manchester http://pubs-of-manchester.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=luck]

[Note 668.12] "I praised the Anti corn-Law League":- The Anti-Corn-Law League aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners' interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages. The corn laws were repealed in 1846.

[Note 668.13] "And when in Peter Street I call, I'll s**t upon the Free Trade Hall":- The Anti-Corn Law League built a temporary timber pavilion in 1840 to hold large public meetings because the other spaces in Manchester were not big enough. Its brick replacement was built in 1842. The current building was opened in 1856.
[Manchester Libraries Information and Archives http://www.archivesplus.org/history/anti-corn-law-league/]
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Trade_Hall]


A poster advertising an ACLL Bazaar to be held at Free Trade Hall in Manchester on Oct. 15th (probably 1845). Supporters would donate goods which would be sold to make money for the ACLL. The League also had their own merchandise for sale such as buttons, badges, envelopes, books, and perhaps even china wear like plates and figurines.
Online Library of Liberty http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/cobden-and-the-anti-corn-law-league


Burk oed gives berk To clot, make matted

Churl(1) Used as a term of disparagement or contempt; rude low-bred fellow.

Crambo The OED gives Crambo A game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to which each of the others has to find a rhyme and Rhyme, rhyming: said in contempt
The Dictionary of Scots Language says that crambo menas doggerel and the word is sometimes compounded with -clink, -jingle, -jink


Date of song. Earliest date 1846 - Ashton station opened
Latest Date 1847. The Corn Laws were repealed in June 1846 and the Anti Corn-Law League dissolved itself. But narrator says last Easter Monday implying some elapse of time before the song was written. The disputes over the Corn Laws would be fresh in the public memory

 

 

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