Chulmleigh Old Fair starts with ancient ceremony

THE famous garlanded glove will be welcoming in a week of traditional fun in Chulmleigh on Tuesday of next week. The ancient ceremony at the Town Hall signals the start of the town s Old Fair celebrations, a long held custom since the first ever fair was

THE famous garlanded glove will be welcoming in a week of traditional fun in Chulmleigh on Tuesday of next week.

The ancient ceremony at the Town Hall signals the start of the town's Old Fair celebrations, a long held custom since the first ever fair was granted by royal charter in 1253.

But before Chulmleigh Community College student Rebecca Harrison is crowned Fair Queen, the fair will be blessed at a family service conducted by the Rural Dean, the Reverend Peter Atwood, in the Parish Church at 6.30pm.

Rebecca, 15, and her procession - attendants Willow Farley, 8, and Emma McNiell-Smith, 10; crown bearer Jasmine Farley, 5; heralds Tobi Farley and Zac Penter, both 8; and chief herald Jack Povey, 9 - will be crowned after the official fair opening by Mike Hiscock.


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The fair queen and her 'royal' party will then attend a special tea party during the famous money scramble, while later in the evening, there will be races in Fore Street as well as a host of entertainment that will also feature daring stunts by Britain's Got Talent star Merlin Cadogan.

On Fair Wednesday, young pavement artists will get the chance to show off their skills in the forecourt of Winston Pincombe's garage, while over in the cricket field, there'll be plenty to see including a sheep show, family dog show, vintage vehicle and classic car display, and flower and produce show. A large craft and country market will take place in the centre of Chulmleigh, while a golf challenge is being planned for the early evening.

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Sports Day Thursday will feature a 'bikhana' in the morning, followed by afternoon sports and games. Also on Thursday, there will be an exhibition of paintings by internationally-known and Chulmleigh-born artist John Hurford in the Town Hall.

Also on Thursday, there's a flower festival in the church from 10am-4pm and a 'motor scavenge' starting at the Town Hall at 6.30pm.

A guided history walk around Chulmleigh will be led by the town crier, Eileen Dolling, starting at 3pm. A family disco party will be held in the evening.

The horse show will take place on Friday morning with a gymkhana in the afternoon.

A treasure trail takes place from 10.30am by Red Lion Corner; and for anyone interested in taking a trip down memory lane, there will be a chance to view the old fair archive in the town hall from 10am-5pm.

On Friday evening, there's more sport with a clay pigeon shoot, golf challenge and six-a-side football.

A day of entertainment is planned for Saturday, with a fancy dress parade from Beacon Rise at 3pm. Participants are asked to meet at 2pm for judging at 2.30pm.

There's more fun and games in Fore Street followed by an open road race at 7.30pm.

And if you've still got any energy left over, there'll be dancing g in Fore Street to Ray's Roadshow until 11.30pm.

For a complete listing of all the events taking place during the week, pick up a free fair programme from local shops and Tourist Information Centres.

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