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First Winter Fair Building, historic legacy

Winter Fair bldg Heritage Brandon

Winter Fair Building, 1913. photo: Daly House Museum


Winter Fair Building Feb 27 Heritage Brandon

Winter Fair Building, 1911. photo: Heritage Brandon

Brandon’s first Winter Fair was held in 1906. It was a resounding success.

After the second successful Fair in 1907, the organizers decided they needed a purpose-built facility to house the event instead of the leased warehouse spaces they had been using.

A joint stock company known as the Brandon Winter Fair and Livestock Association (BWFLA) was formed.

Stock subscriptions were called for by president, J.D. McGregor, and a block of land at 10th Street and McTavish Avenue was purchased.

With the solid backing of the local business community, the directors were able to let a contract for a $40,000 exhibition building to house the yearly Winter Fair.

A commodious new building, erected under the careful attentions of architect W.A. Elliott, with premium display and exhibition space was ready for the 1908 Winter Fair.

Winter Fair bldg market Mary Hume

City Market in the Winter Fair Building. photo: Daly House Museum

Livestock groups used the facility for regular cattle shows, it housed a city market and a community auditorium.

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In November 1910 fire destroyed the Brandon Mental  Hospital.

The patients were housed in the Winter Fair building for two years while the replacement hospital was constructed.

Pride of the Land, by Ken Coates and Fred McGuinness

From 1914 to 1916 the Winter Fair building was used as an alien detention centre.

On October 29, 1920 a fire broke out in the building’s horse barns.

Royal North West Mounted Police were barracked at the Brandon Armoury across the street and their horses were housed in the barns.

Winter Fair bldg fire 2 Daly House Museum

Despite heroic efforts to rescue the horses, thirty-one perished.

Two men were injured trying to evacuate the animals which, because they were frightened by the crackling flames and the smoke, fought off efforts to remove them.

Winter Fair bldg fire 4 Daly House Museum

One of the men, Constable Larkins, wound the reins around his wrist to pull his horse out through the smoke.

Near the entrance, a heavy fireball came down from the roof and struck the animal and then Larkins, knocking him out.

The horse, though badly burned, continued out of the building, dragging his own rescuer to safety. Unhappily, the horse was so badly burned it had to be shot.

The fire destroyed all but one portion of the Winter Fair building.

Brandon: A Prospect of A City, by Mary Hume.

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Pet Pals

L&C swimming1 photo by Graham Street

Lily and Chelsea

You go ahead, I’m good right here!

photograph by Graham Street

(Lily and Chelsea are the pet pals of Marsha and Graham Street)

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4 tips to help you choose a rollator

Sharla Byers Rolling Spokes

Sharla Byers, co-owner, Rolling Spokes

Seating: The seat should feel ‘roomy’ when sitting, with enough distance between the handles so you aren’t ‘squeezing in.’

Your feet should rest firmly on the ground.

Handles: If you have weak or painful hands or wrists, anatomical handles may be the best choice.

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They are designed to spread the weight over a wider area of the palm, reducing stress.
Using the brake is also easier.

Handle height: When standing straight the handle should meet your wrist.

Your arms should be slightly bent at your elbows.

Wheels: Large wheels work best for outdoor use.

Indoors, walking on carpet or flooring is easier with smaller wheels.

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