WITHERIDGE St John s Fair may be one of the oldest in the country, but it gets better every year. Stalls lined the main street in bright sunshine on Saturday as crowds gathered to watch the traditional parade into the village Square. There was plenty of a

WITHERIDGE St John's Fair may be one of the oldest in the country, but it gets better every year.

Stalls lined the main street in bright sunshine on Saturday as crowds gathered to watch the traditional parade into the village Square.

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There was plenty of activity around the Parish Hall, too, where Witheridge Art Group held an exhibition to augment the fairground rides, hot food stalls and live entertainment.

The grand parade from the village fire station featured all manner of transport from steam engines to ancient tractors and donkey carts.

Young members of local groups took their places in the line-up along with Borderline Morris, Dart Valley Stompers, Street Heat Samba Band, Tiverton New Generation Majorettes, the Diamond Twirlers and packs of stag hounds and beagles.

When everyone was assembled, town crier Frank Housam read out the charter from King Henry III giving permission for the fair to take place in 1248.

Then a programme of entertainment followed, including country dance performances by pupils of Witheridge Church of England Primary School.

The fair is held under the auspices of the North Devon Festival and this year had a medieval theme.

The opportunity was also taken to consult local people about plans for a new community centre in the village. Responses are being evaluated.