Sunday, 22 April 2012

The May Fair Hereford.

St Ethelbert’s Fair, now more commonly known as Hereford May Fair, has its origins many years ago. Ethelbert himself has links with Hereford going back to the late 8th century.

The Fair, which has changed dramatically over the years, continues to be held on the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of May in the city centre streets of Hereford.

Up and until 1838 the right to hold the fair was apparently solely vested in the Lord Bishop of Hereford, when it was known as the Nine Days Fair. In 1838 a local Act of Parliament transferred the rights to the local council and reduced its duration, as the council felt it would greatly enhance and improve the morals of the inhabitants.
Although he lost the right to sanction the Fair, the Lord Bishop was entitled to 12½ bushels of wheat (or the equivalent in monetary terms) each year as compensation. This payment was stopped in 1971, but the modern Fair is still opened with the weighing of the wheat.
Thousands of people visit the fair every year from the surrounding areas.The fair these days is a mixture of fast moving white knuckle rides,children's roundabouts,rifle ranges slot machine arcades and many fast food vendors.

These days the fair is usually opened by the Mayor with the ceremonial presentation of wheat to the Lord Bishop on the Cathedral Close.

Broad Street.
King Street.
pic; Walter Pritchard.
Commercial Road

Many Thanks; Mary Jo Penford,Sally Stamford,Phil Watts and the Unknown Photographer.

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