In pictures: Old fair sparkles in midsummer sun

Chulmleigh fair-goers savour a week to remember.

CHULMLEIGH has been holding its traditional old fairs for more than 750 years – but few can have been bathed in such glorious mid-summer weather as the town enjoyed this week.

After weeks of rain, organisers admitted they were uncertain as to whether some of the events would actually go ahead – but you’d never have guessed it at midday on fair Wednesday as visitors, stallholders and livestock baked in soaring temperatures.

The celebrations started on Tuesday week when Olympic torchbearer Barrie Goodfellow and town crier Eileen Dolling accompanied fair queen Molly Sharples and her entourage to the crowning ceremony in front of the town hall.

The fair featured entertainment and attractions all week and ended on Saturday with a fancy dress carnival, races and dancing in Fore Street.

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Old Fair committee chairman Terry Pincombe said: “It was touch-and-go the week before, but all the events went on – it was really hot, a marvellous week.

“We had a little shower of rain on Saturday afternoon but that didn’t dampen the spirits too much.

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“It really makes a difference and people are a lot more happy and cheerful. The week before, people were pretty miserable and we had a job selling any draw tickets but we did very well in fair week.

“We’ve got a good committee – including one-or-two new younger members – who worked very hard to make it a success.”

But the hot weather didn’t mean play-time for everyone. Mr Pincombe said many of the farmers had had to stay at home to quite literally make hay while the sun shone.

“There were not as many entries at the seep show this year and generally I didn’t think the crowds were quite as big.

“A lot of the farmers were busy making silage, hay, or harvesting the corn and because of the weather we’ve had, you can’t blame them.”

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