One of the great attractions of the travelling fairgrounds, in days gone
by, was the boxing booths. Out of the booths came Scotland's first world
professional boxing champions, Glasgow flyweight Benny Lynch (see Sing A
Sang At Least for Matt McGinn's tribute to the great Benny). In 1935 Benny
Lynch fought the world champion Jackie Brown of England in his hometown of
Manchester and knocked him out in the 2nd round. Glasgow and Scotland
rejoiced at his achievement..
It is now some forty years since the boxing/wrestling booths stopped
plying their trade and former amateur boxing champion Alex McGrow has
contacted The Flag seeking assistance in researching a book on the
subject. Alex wrote to us -
'I am currently researching fairground boxing booths in Scotland, and the
boxers/wrestlers who fought in them. Hopefully some of the visitors to The
Flag will be able to assist.
I would like to know where the booths were, who ran them, and something
about the people involved.
Perhaps some of your visitors were booth fighters up until the 1960's.
They may have simply visited to watch the action or may have challenged
the fighters. It may be that some of their relatives, now deceased, were
involved with the booths and they may have tales to tell.
If so, I would be delighted to hear from them. I am also interested in any
photographs of booths and fighters, advertising material or programmes,
which I would copy. They would be treated with utmost care and returned
while any expenses would be covered.
If you can help me with this project, I would be extremely grateful.'
Information can be sent to Alex McGrow at 130 Inveraray Avenue, Glenrothes,
Fife KY7 4QR.
Beefy Burgers seemed an appropriate recipe for this week as burgers are
still a popular attraction at funfairs.
Ingredients (serves 4) 1 slice stale bread; 500 g lean beef mince; 2
spring onions, finely chopped; 1/2x 5 ml spoon salt; 1 x 5 ml spoon
Worcester sauce; 1/2 x 5 ml spoon dried mixed herbs; 1 clove garlic,
crushed; 1/4 cup milk; 1 x 15 ml spoon oil; hambuger buns; 4 slices
cheese; lettuce leaves, washed
Crumble the bread by scrunching it in your hand. Put the bread crumbs into
a large mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients, except the milk.
Mix thoroughly. Add some milk - you need to add enough so that the mixture
will form into patties without cracking around the edges. Shape into large
patties - about the same size as your hamburger buns. Choose a heavy pan,
pour the oil into it, and heat it on the element. Add the patties, brown
them on each side, and then turn down the heat and cook for another five
or eight minutes on each side. You can test if the pattie is cooked by
pricking the centre with a small knife. If the juice that runs out is
pink, the pattie is not cooked yet. When the juice is clear, the pattie is
cooked. While the patties are cooking, slice the hamburger buns in half
and toast under a medium grill for 2-3 minutes each side until golden.
Spread the bottom halves of the rolls with tomato sauce or relish. When
the patties are cooked, add a pattie to each bottom half, top with all
your favourite fillings, add the lid, and enjoy!