Chicken Joe
Side and Round stalls have always been an essential part of any fair and Hull could claim to have the greatest number of such attractions attend every year. Houplas, Coconut Sheets, Rifle Ranges and Panams were the staple ingredients of the fair and the main approach down Walton Street would be full of hundreds of food stalls selling brandy snap, toffee apple, hot dogs, patties and peas. However, perhaps the most popular of all the attractions that appeared at the fair during this period was Chicken Joe - The Man You All Know. Chicken Joe or Joe Barak, was a showman based in Yorkshire who regularly attended the fair in the 1930s and 1940s, and ran a spinner stall for Ling's Family amusements. One of the main differences between this stall and others is that the prizes on offer were groceries and a fresh chicken, with some fair goers remembering that on occasion Joe would sometimes offer as a prize a joint of beef. John Ling, the son of the original owner of the show, Joe Ling, in his Memories of a Travelling Life, recalls going to the local bakery during the fair to order a hundred loaves of bread to put into the grocery bags. People would flock to Chicken Joe's in order to try and win one of the chickens which were so prominently displayed. Chicken Joe - The Who You All Know, local people of Hull recalled the stall:
Chicken Joe was so popular that it was often impossible to get near his stall. The huge sale of tickets obtained from several helpers circulated around the stall would account for the various prizes. He had the gift the flair and the tongue of a successful street market busker. He would produce a very large empty carrier bag, with a flourish and then proceed to fill it to bursting point with groceries, item by item ceremoniously. The top the whole thing up with a chicken or occasionally a joint of beef instead.
The owner of each winning ticket was then given a bag of groceries and a second ticket which was taken back on Saturday night where the winner of this final game received a three piece suite as the grand prize. Joe Barak retired in 1962 but the show had passed into local folklore and became a local legend no doubt due to the shortage of fresh meat before and after the Second World War. More information regarding Chicken Joe and the impact he had on the people of Hull can be found in Chicken Joe - The Man You All Know by Christopher Ketchell published by the Local History Archives Unit in 1986, and reprinted by New Era Publications in 1999.
Despite the array of rides, shows and games that have been presented at Hull Fair over the years, the name that many locals recall when reminiscing about the fair is Chicken Joe - The Man You All Know. Chicken Joe or Joe Barak, was a showman based in Yorkshire who regularly attended the fair in the 1930s and 1940s, when he ran the stall for Ling's Family amusements. One of the main differences between this stall and others is that the prizes on offer were groceries and a fresh chicken, with some fair goers remembering that on occasion Joe would sometimes offer as a prize a joint of beef. John Ling, the son of the original owner of the show, Joe Ling, in his Memories of a Travelling Life, recalls going to the local bakery during the fair to order a hundred loaves of bread to put into the grocery bags. People would flock to Chicken Joe's in order to try and win one of the chickens which were so prominently displayed. The owner of each winning ticket was then given a bag of groceries and a second ticket which was taken back on Saturday night where the winner of this final game received a three piece suite as the grand prize. Joe Barak retired in 1962 but the show had passed into local folklore. More information regarding Chicken Joe and the impact he had on the people of Hull can be found in a booklet written by Christopher Ketchell and published by the Local History Archives Unit in 1986.