Ancient Petworth Fair is back with new fun

The Petworth Fair gallopers PICTURE BY CLIVE BENNETT
The Petworth Fair gallopers PICTURE BY CLIVE BENNETT

It’s that time again when Petworth celebrates one of the oldest street fairs in the country and this year the date set in stone, November 20, falls on Monday.

“It’s impossible to date precisely,” said co-organiser Miles Costello, of the Petworth Society, “but it goes back at least to the 12th century and undoubtedly much earlier.”

The Market Square will be closed to traffic from midday on Sunday, November 19, while Harris Brothers, from Ashington, sets up its travelling amusements, with the famous Southdown Gallopers taking pride of place.

The fun begins at 3pm on Monday and the fair will be opened by The Petworth Society’s very own town crier.

“Apart from the usual outdoor merriment there will be free children’s entertainments inside The Leconfield Hall,” said Miles.

“This new and innovative addition to the programme provided by The Petworth Society will see a traditional Punch and Judy show as well as a magician, face painting, lucky dip and children’s books all provided free by the Society. For the slightly more mature fairgoer there will be the usual popular exhibition of old photographs of the town which tend to attract a great deal of attention from both new and older residents alike.”

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