Chulmleigh gets ready to celebrate 760th anniversary fair.

Chulmleigh will be holding its 760th Old Fair next week.Chulmleigh will be holding its 760th Old Fair next week.

THE bells of Chulmleigh’s St Mary Magdalene church will ring out on Tuesday evening for the start of the town’s Old Fair week.

The traditional family church service at the parish church on July 23 will signal the start of the ancient celebrations, held every year since 1253.

The 760th anniversary fair will be opened by bell ringer Chrissie Preece, who will make her speech from the upstairs window of the town hall before displaying the decorated white glove – the symbol of King Henry III’s gauntlet.

Fellow bell ringer Brian Hookins will then crown 16-year-old fair queen Sonam Ahmed, a pupil at Chulmleigh Academy and Community College who was chosen by public ballot.

Her attendants will be Flora Davies and Lillie Tucker, with Molly Andrews acting as Crown Bearer.

Chief herald Rowan Trenaman will be assisted by heralds Jacob Mitchell and Dexter Tucker.

The crowning ritual will be followed by the famous money scramble, children’s races along Fore Street and street entertainment.

More events are planned throughout the week, including main fair day on Wednesday, with a traditional sheep show; flower show; vintage vehicles; craft and country market; and golf challenge.

There’s a sports day on Thursday, horse show and antiques on Friday. A flower festival in the Congregational Church and Old Fair archive exhibition in the town hall continues all week.

The fun culminates in a fancy dress carnival, games and dancing in Fore Street on Saturday.

For a complete listing of all the events taking place, pick up a free fair programme from local shops and tourist information centres.

See next week’s Gazette for a Chulmleigh Old Fair picture special.