First, a little bit of history...To the fairs

 

In the early/mid 1960s London was a magnet drawing the young and hip in from the regions, shaking off the austerity of the post war 1950s and riding the peak of British wealth.

To the postersAs the decade drew to a close some of those incomers, and their London friends, left the city heading back out into the shires, and the quieter, slower, life of village and market town.

Some settled in North Suffolk and South Norfolk, an open countryside of low hills and wide plains spotted with marsh and cut by fen, a region of few towns and many villages, with the River Waveney dividing one county from the other.

By 1971 a social network had developed in the Waveney area sufficiently large for a public event to be planned, which took the form of a medieval fair. This was the 1972to the photo galleries Barsham Faire. Four more followed culminating in the Last Barsham Faire of 1976. The money raised by the fairs was used to  run a variety of events throughout the region, including music, theatre, and childrens eto the graphicsvents, art shows and a travelling cinema.

In 1976 the first Bungay May Horse Fair was also held, the revival of an earlier tradition which had died out in the 1950s. In 1977 the second Bungay May Horse Fair was held and an ad hoc group participated in the traditional Eye Show. The following winter some of the Barsham crew and friends set up Albion Fairs, an attempt to take the fairs to the rest of the country - though financial limitations kept them mainly within East Anglia.

The next six summers were punctuated by weekends of creativity and spectacle, as different groups and individuals organised their own fairs, supported by the amorphous core group known as Albion Fairs.

After 1982 the number of fairs dropped rapidly though smaller local offshoots persisted and Barsham and Albion's inTo the Clarion websitefluence continue to be found in odd places today.

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Welcome to the new, much expanded edition of the East Anglian Fairs Archive website. Construction and content management courtesy of Martin and Mike, down in the western reaches of East Anglia, with hosting and technical support from Robert and Paul up in the eastern lowlands of Perthshire.

While we have been taking a month of Sundays building this site Don and Borin seemingly overnight created a splendid site for The Waveney Clarion, the monthly paper of the fairs scene.

To post comments on this site registration is necessary. Click on the box up top and create a password, prove you are human and comment on...

 

 

John Ellerby
John Ellerby says:
May 24, 2014 12:38 PM

Great site. Look forward to seeing it grow, especially photos and memories. John E