All the Fun of the Fair

Ah the sickly sweet smell of candy floss and fear; it must be the May Fair!Photo of Big Wheel Hereford May Fair

There has been a fair held in Hereford for over 900 years. It used to be known as St Ethelbert’s Fair and was run by the Bishop of Hereford. In 1838 control of the Fair was handed to the local authorities in exchange for twelve and a half bushels of wheat paid to the Bishop annually (I understand he is happy to accept a cash alternative these days).Photo of catapult ride Hereford May Fair

So for three days commencing on the Tuesday after the first Monday of May the civic buildings of the Town Hall, library and War memorial are cluttered by various stalls selling hot dogs, burgers and sweet treats, alongside traditional games such as hook-a-duck. Then there are the helter skelters, big wheels and the lunch lurching, retinal detaching catapult thingies.

There is just under five minutes of footage here at the British Pathé site of the May Fair in the 1920’s. The entertainment is more sedate and seems to be exclusively enjoyed by adults! It also looks to be pouring with rain.

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6 thoughts on “All the Fun of the Fair

  1. Crowds, stalls, fairy floss, fried food smell and everything else associated with fairs & country shows is admittedly not my favourite thing, but was most interested to read the history behind your fair. 900 years is a long time to be hosting such revelries. Shame they can’t all be the old medieval kind of entertainment.
    Your post reminded me of my dvds of Cadfael – the mini series (of which I am addicted to the sights and lifestyle of medieval England).
    Hope your May fair is not too modern & commercial and you get to enjoy some of it.

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