Horse power remembered

SUE SKINNER The leading role once played by Downham Market in the horse trading world will be celebrated with a colourful procession through the town.Downham used to play host to one of the two largest horse fairs in Europe, starting on St Winnold's Day and running for several days.

SUE SKINNER

The leading role once played by Downham Market in the horse trading world will be celebrated with a colourful procession through the town.

Downham used to play host to one of the two largest horse fairs in Europe, starting on St Winnold's Day and running for several days. Thousands of horses were bought and sold, with Continental armies purchasing some of their steeds. Many of these would have been bred and reared on the Fens to the west of the town, which were then generally unsuitable for arable cultivation.

On Friday, March 18, visiting mayors and dignitaries will don full regalia and take part in the parade, which will be led by a Shire horse, to commemorate Downham's once pre-eminent place in horse trading.

The procession will end at the new Market Place in the Town Hall car park, where the town's historic charter will be proclaimed.

There will then be a prayer and blessing for Downham's two markets and the town itself, followed by a traditional market toast and a civic breakfast in the Town Hall, for which market traders will provide most of the ingredients.