WINSHAM STREET FAIRS

Introduction and Main Index

 

Initially,  photographs of the 1985 event commemorating the Monmouth Rebellion were very scarce.  Over a ten year period, some did emerge, and  notably, in 2012,  Jim Loaring provided a considerable collection of additional pictures of Street Fairs over the years leading up to the Millennium, mostly taken by his parents, Arthur and Roma Loaring. These have enhanced considerably the collection of pictures of the earlier Street Fairs displayed in this gallery. In recent years, with the advent of digital photography, the volume and quality of pictures has improved, although at present we have no pictures of the 2004 event, something the web museum would like to remedy. We appeal to all visitors to this site to help remedy this by checking their own collection of pictures and allowing us to reproduce them for everyone's enjoyment.

In addition to photographs, the Web Museum has obtained details of the organisation that went into the 1985 Street Fair, the first to be held since in Winsham since the seventeenth century. To see these very interesting documents CLICK HERE. They give an insight into the heavy task that falls of the Winsham Street Fair Committee in organising each event. As soon as one Street Fair ends, planning and fund raising for the next begins.

Reproductions of the printed programmes also are displayed when available, together with photographs and programmes of the drama events that have also been part of some of the Street Fairs , together with some of the fund raising events that have been held. Just Click on the links when you see them.

Street Fairs  are usually held on the last Saturday of June, in line with the original Charter. The success of each event is inevitably dependant on the weather, although even during the worst rainfall, the crowds that come from a wide surrounding area, invariably enjoy themselves.

In 2013 a new Street Fair Committee was formed, the previous committee headed up by Colin  and Margaret Slade for many years. The problem facing them was how to inject  new ideas, without changing the very popular character of the event.

2016
Times are changing. Entertainment events aside, the backbone of the Street Fair is the many small 'charity' stalls that take the opportunity to raise money for one good cause or another. They provide colour and entertainment, with participation sometimes being rewarded by a small prize. Over the years they have proved their popularity; but the stalwarts who used to enjoy running such stands are getting fewer. The Street Fair is finding it more difficult to attract the number of stands to make a good show.

On the positive side, the Street Fair also has traditionally many small businesses that support it-craft stalls-weavers, jewellery, walking stick makers-all sorts of food,  drink and Ice-cream vendors and so-on. This group remains strong in its support

The passing years also make clear that more volunteers are needed to mount such a relatively large event. Younger people are needed to take on the challenge.

So, in 2013, a new committee was formed. Roger Beer, who had been involved in the Street Fair for many years, became chairman of the committee, and gathered around him Steve Weller  as vice-chairman, and recruited some younger people  such as Harriet Dougherty as Secretary, and Dominic Douglass as Treasurer to form the basis of the new group. Sue Ward-Rice also joined to help with administration and fund raising.

2014 marked the first Street Fair operating under the new group. It had the imaginative theme of 'Winsham by the Sea'.

One successful change was to relocate  parts of the Street Fair to provide a more coherent route for visitors to follow. St Stephen's Church Yard provided a wonderful opportunity. The path through the Church Yard became 'Winsham Pier'.

This led onto the footpath leading to the Winsham School Field, another centre of activity. Church Street, was lined as usual with small stalls, but remained the main stage for the 'Street-Heat' Samba Band and the Chard Majorettes, and the traditional Fancy Dress Parade that marks the end of the event.

The weather, on the whole was kind  but typical for a seaside event ,sunny with showers. The event was judged as an unequivocal success.

To raise money to stage the Street Fair, each year the committee runs a 'Race Night'. Gentle betting on anonymous horse races from all over the world raises a lot of laughter, and worthwhile sums of money. It has also introduced 'Big Breakfasts' at the Jubilee Hall to fund  the next Street Fair, as well as the provision of the illuminated Christmas Tree that, each year, is at the centre of Winsham's Christmas celebrations.

 

'Winsham Pier', making use of the path through St.Stephen's church yard was a very successful addition to the 2014 Street Fair, offering the opportunity for both activity and relaxation.

 

Index
(Select topic and left-click on picture)
 

2014
Winsham by the Sea
2014
2016

'Let's celebrate  Rio'
 
2010
'Swinging Sixties'
2008
'Story Book'
2008
 2006
Musicals'
2006 2004 CAN YOU HELP?
WINSHAM WEB MUSEUM DOES NOT HAVE ANY PICTURES OF THIS EVENT,
or any information as to the theme.
Please contact:
john.sullivan22@btinternet.com 
2002
'Christmas in June'
2002 2000
'Back to the Future'
2000
1998
'Carnival'
1998 1996
'The Wild West'
1996
1993
'Winsham Wonderland'
1993 1991
'Shakespearian'
1991
1989
'Roaring Twenties'
1989 1987
'Victorian'
1987
1985
'The Pitchfork Rebellion'
1985 2012
'Best of British
'
2012

FUND RAISING FOR THE STREET FAIR
The Street Fair Committee do not aim to make a profit. As a result, in order to raise the money each 'gap year' to fund the set up of the next Street Fair. This leads to other fun events which are always well supported






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