Frank back to lead fayre for the last time

Joseph Bulmer

Former Witheridge town crier will return to the village for St John’s Fayre

FORMER Witheridge town crier Frank Housam will return to the village to lead the celebrations at this year’s Witheridge St John’s Fayre.

Mr Housam, who became Tiverton’s town crier when he moved to the town in March, will lead the parade and read the charter for what is likely to be the last time. It is a role he has fulfilled every year since 1991.

“I’ve not missed a year since the fair was re-inaugurated; I’m looking forward to it,” said Mr Housam, 81.

This year’s St John’s Fayre – dubbed “a glorious display of English country life” – takes place on Saturday, June 25, with the grand parade from the fire station to the village square starting at 11am.

The fayre, which dates back to 1248, is one of the oldest in the country. Records show that a charter was granted by King Henry III for a three-day fayre to celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist and the dedication festival of the parish church.

This year’s event will feature a traditional Anderton and Rowland’s funfair, which will also be open on the Thursday and Friday evenings from 6-9.30pm.

Live music on fayre day will include the Blackdown Hills Steel Band; Westcountry Concertina players and local band The Hoodlums. All will be performing in The Hub next to the village hall, where there will be a fully licensed bar from 11am.

There will also be performances from Street Heat Samba; Ilfracombe Red Petticoats; the Cadet Force marching band; Tiverton New Generation Majorettes; Witheridge Tae Kwon Do; and Witheridge Primary School and the village pre-school.

Other events include a farmers’ market; medieval costume competition; egg throwing contest; and food and charity stalls.

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