Caroline Shipsey

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Priddy Fair 2011

Priddy Fair 2011 - family fun in the horse field, supper is cooking!

Another year, another Priddy Fair - every year since 1348! The fair has been continuously held every year since 1348, apart from the recent 2001 and 2007 foot-and-mouth epidemic years, and even in 2007 there was an event but without any livestock.

The past few years have seen a massive effort to return the fair to a more traditional style, cutting out some of the stalls that were tacky and some of those only of interest to travellers. The aim has also been to stop the influx of travellers camping around the village and breaking into fields, dumping rubbish etc.

There's no doubt it's been successful but from my point of view it's taken the 'colour' out of the event. Gone are the horses being ridden bare back through the crowds, gone is the singing in the Queen Victoria and Fair on the night before. Gone are the deals being made outside the New Inn and the fights in the bar.

The village has barriers on all 3 roads entering from the day before and the only access is by a pass for residents or other authorized vehicles. This year the police presence seemed more than ever, and the RSPCA were out in force too in an attempt to cut down the illegal sale of puppies.

It doesn't attract me as a photographer because the excitement is gone, though there were more people than ever taking photos this year. I've got some great memories and photographs of how things were in the past 20 or so years - that's what photography is all about for me, making sure I have a record of how things are, and to share them with you.

You can see some images from previous years at Priddy Fair on my website.