Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Changes to be made to Barnstaple Fair opening following heath and safety review

PUBLISHED: 11:34 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:20 18 August 2017

A Barnstaple fair proclamation ceremony in the 1920s.

A Barnstaple fair proclamation ceremony in the 1920s.

Archant

This year’s Barnstaple Fair opening ceremony takes place at The Guildhall on Wednesday, September 13.

Barnstaple Town Council has been forced to make changes to its historic fair proclamation ceremony following a health and safety review.

The council has had to cut the number of guests at the annual ceremony by 67, taking it from 250 guests to 183.

The fair proclamation kick-starts Barnstaple Fair, when a colourful ceremony at the Guildhall is followed by a procession around the town centre.

The reduction comes after a review of fire safety at Barnstaple Guildhall, the venue for the event.

The fair opening in 2016. Picture: Matt Smart The fair opening in 2016. Picture: Matt Smart

Town clerk Will Austin said the decision had been a difficult one, but assured the ‘pomp and colour’ of the ceremony, which has been held at the Guildhall nearly every year since 1826, will be retained.

He said: “We carried out a routine review of fire safety for the ceremony in June, and realised then that the evacuation routes weren’t of the standard needed to meet the latest regulations.

“As a result, councillors have taken a very difficult decision to reduce the number of invitees.

“The opening of Barnstaple Fair goes back hundreds of years, and councillors have been sensitive to the need to respect our rich heritage whilst recognising that modern-day health and safety standards are rightly tighter than they would have been in past times.

The fair opening in 2016. Picture: Matt Smart The fair opening in 2016. Picture: Matt Smart

“The pomp and colour will still be retained, but we’ll need to re-jig some of the furniture to make sure that if the worst happened people could leave the building with as little difficulty as possible.”

Mayor of Barnstaple, councillor Julie Hunt said: “Obviously it was a really tough decision for the council, and we know we’ll disappoint a few people who would have been looking forward to this wonderful celebration of our history.

“I do hope people will understand though – safety really does have to come first.”

Other News Stories

53 minutes ago

Plans have been submitted to turn the former Torrington meat factory into a new base for house-builder and 143 new homes.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:22

A multi-vehicle collision is causing delays this evening (Monday, November 20) in Bideford.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:38

Petals are thrown into the Taw as Barnstaple women’s organisations show support for the 2017 campaign which includes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Read more
Yesterday, 10:23

Police have confirmed a man found in Barnstaple Wetherspoon pub has died.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:29

Barnstaple celebrated its Christmas light switch on event on Sunday as crowds gathered to watch the town glitter and sparkle.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:08

Volunteers can get involved and help rangers clear invasive scrub from Northam Burrows at an event next week.

Read more
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Catch this week’s gallery of readers’ pictures sent in through iwitness24.

Read more
Sunday, November 19, 2017

A road in Combe Martin has been blocked by a fallen tree, police are urging motorists to approach with caution.

Read more
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Police, ambulance and the fire service worked together to rescue the woman at Bideford Quay in the early hours of this morning (Sunday, November 19).

Read more
Saturday, November 18, 2017

Police have confirmed that the body of a man was found in the Old Town area of Bideford this morning (Saturday, November 18).

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications