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Organisers call time on Fenland Country Fair




A popular country fair, which has been drawing bank holiday crowds for more than 40 years, has been held for the last time.

Malcolm Hall, who started the Fenland Country Fair, said: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have decided to call time on the event. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over more than three decades and helped to make the fair such a success.”

The falconry displays were always a popular attraction at the Fenland Country Fair
The falconry displays were always a popular attraction at the Fenland Country Fair

The event started life in 1981 in Swaffham Prior, then home to the Hall family, and was originally held to raise funds to build a youth club in the village, which it managed to do. It continued there for a number of years but as it got bigger the organisers looked for a new venue and it moved to Stow cum Quy.

Mr Hall, who is now 76 and lives in Norfolk, organised the early fairs with John and Joan Plant.

They were run on a commercial basis but the organisers always made contributions to local organisations which helped with the running of the events.

Visitors attended the fair from all over the region
Visitors attended the fair from all over the region

Mr Hall said one of the aims of the fair had always been to educate the next generation about some historic countryside crafts and rural pursuits.

“I believe its really important that our young people don’t lose touch with the countryside and the traditional country ways – they need to understand how the countryside works and how food and farming fits together,” he said.

And every year for almost four decades he did just that at the fair which was held over the two-day August bank holiday weekend when visitors came from all over the country to enjoy everything from terrier racing, a heavy horse show and falconry displays to honey competitions.

Last year’s fair had to be cancelled because of the Covid pandemic and Mr Hall had been planning to hold it again this August but announced on Tuesday it would not be held again.

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