The Hoppings first arrived in Newcastle in 1882 as a Temperance Fair. The event was designed to be a counter-attraction to the annual Race week hosted at the nearby Newcastle Racecourse.
The next 50 years saw the introductions of the well-known rides and attractions we still use today. For example, in 1951, The Rotor was introduced (the first ever spinning wall ride!) and in 1958 the Hook-a-Duck made its first appearance.
In 1985, attendance dipped to 100,000 as the recession hit. The Hoppings was even at risk of closing, but after reducing policing costs and increasing the use of the car park, The Hoppings survived.
In 2013, due to bad weather the Hoppings was cancelled. It returned in 2014 and continued to amass over 400,000 annual visitors until the postponement in 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic
Free fairground outings were organised for underprivileged children, where the Showmen's Guild donated the rides. This brought in over 3,000 Variety Club Children.
Several origins have been suggested for the name. Most relate to dancing, the word ‘hopping' meaning a dance in Middle English (old fairs included dancing as a spectacle). Another idea stems from the clothing that the fair operators used to wear. Lastly, the name may simply derive from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘hoppen' meaning funfair.
To this day, we still don't know which is true.
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