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Centuries-old Norfolk fair returns under new management

PUBLISHED: 10:36 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:57 20 June 2018

Hannah Warren in between Pamela Leeder and Ron Hayton, who used to run the fayre. They are seen looking back at old programmes. Pictures: David Bale.

Hannah Warren in between Pamela Leeder and Ron Hayton, who used to run the fayre. They are seen looking back at old programmes. Pictures: David Bale.

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Traditionally held around the Summer Solstice, the Aldborough fayre in north Norfolk stretches back almost 800 years to the 13th century.

Pamela Leeder and Ron Hayton used to run the fayre. They are seen looking back at old programmes. Pictures: David Bale.Pamela Leeder and Ron Hayton used to run the fayre. They are seen looking back at old programmes. Pictures: David Bale.

By the 18th century the event was a major meeting place for the gentry, although it became an ordinary fair for country folk as the years passed.

Last year there was no fayre as they could not find anyone to run it, but a younger generation have taken it on for 2018, and it will again be held at The Green in Aldborough on Saturday, June 23, from 10am to 5pm.

Hannah Warren has taken it on this year and she met up with past organisers Ron Hayton and Pamela Leeder who passed on the baton.

She said: “This year it will be more fete than fayre as we have not had much time to organise it. There will be collection buckets to help pay for it.

Aldborough fayre from about 1984. Pictures: David Bale.Aldborough fayre from about 1984. Pictures: David Bale.

“The village needs it. We were talking about how terrible it was that it was not on.

“North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb will be opening it and we will have the fools puppets theatre, Morris dancers, Marlene School of Dance, donkeys, and a dog show. My stepdad Gary Heard used to help run it, and I remember it as a child.”

She is being helped by Valerie King, who said: “It should be continued. I think it would be good for future generations. It’s building on the foundations of people that previously ran it.”

Mrs Leeder, 90, was involved in running the event for 22 years.

Painting of Aldborough fayre as a horse fair by A Knights in 1977. Pictures: David Bale.Painting of Aldborough fayre as a horse fair by A Knights in 1977. Pictures: David Bale.

She said: “I think it’s a good idea. It won’t be as big as we had it. We used to fundraise to pay for the marquees.”

In its modern form the fayre started off as a trade and leisure weekend in 1983 and celebrities came to open it including Gordon Kaye from TV’s ’Allo ‘Allo.”

Ron Hayton, 81, was one of the five people to start it in 1983 and he was involved until 2000. He said: “We started it up again because all our mail was going to Aldeburgh in Suffolk. We wanted to put our Aldborough on the map.”

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