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Downham Market celebrates horsey history with St Winnold’s Fair

PUBLISHED: 14:34 16 March 2018

The St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market was led by Bernard, a Suffolk Punch from nearby Church Farm. Picture: Ian Burt

The St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market was led by Bernard, a Suffolk Punch from nearby Church Farm. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Dozens of people lined the streets in Downham Market for the annual St Winnold’s Fair.

Local school children attended the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtLocal school children attended the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

Starting from the town council offices, a parade of horses made it’s way down to the town hall where the markets have been trading for more than 970 years.

The fair is an important event in the Downham Market calender, which centuries ago formed one of the biggest horse-trading fairs in Europe.

Local school children attended the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtLocal school children attended the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

It was granted a royal charter by Edward the Confessor in 1046. As is tradition, the charter was read out at the fair this morning by town crier Ray Wales.

Dignitaries, including West Norfolk mayor Carol Bower and RAF Marham Station Commander Cab Townsend, followed the procession of horses down Paradise Road, which was led by Bernard the Suffolk Punch from nearby Church Farm.

Local school children attended the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtLocal school children attended the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

At this year’s event, residents spoke about why they loved the town as part of the Love West Norfolk campaign.

An organiser said: “It was fantastic to meet so many people in Downham Market who love West Norfolk.

RAF Marham Station Commander Cab Townsend attended the St Winnold's Day celebrations in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtRAF Marham Station Commander Cab Townsend attended the St Winnold's Day celebrations in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

“Members of the public and local businesses got involved and shared their thoughts about what makes the area so special to them, and it was great to hear so much enthusiasm and pride in the local area.

“It was a real pleasure to meet everyone, and to see the St Winnold’s parade which is another great reason to love West Norfolk.”

The horses were prepared for the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtThe horses were prepared for the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The horses were prepared for the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtThe horses were prepared for the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The St Winnold's Day parade making its way to the market square in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtThe St Winnold's Day parade making its way to the market square in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The St Winnold's Day parade making its way to the market square in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtThe St Winnold's Day parade making its way to the market square in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The St Winnold's Day parade making its way to the market square in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtThe St Winnold's Day parade making its way to the market square in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market was led by Bernard, a Suffolk Punch from nearby Church Farm. Picture: Ian BurtThe St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market was led by Bernard, a Suffolk Punch from nearby Church Farm. Picture: Ian Burt

Borough Mayor Carol Bower joined the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtBorough Mayor Carol Bower joined the St Winnold's Day parade in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt


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