Special Events

Street Fair

Winsham Street Fair 
We are indebted to Mary Loaring for the research that revived the Street fair in 1985. The Winsham Street fair has a long history, permission by Royal charter granted by Henry III in 1262, allows Winsham "a weekly Market and an Annual Street Fair on the eve, day and morrow of St Peter and St Paul" (28th, 29th and 30th June).
In 1885 the County Authorities encouraged everyone to join in a celebration of the 300th Commemoration of the landing of the Duke of Monmouth and his progress from Lyme Regis to Taunton. The Duke of Monmouth had entered the village of Winsham with a party on horseback and led by foot soldiers over the bridge at Axewater and followed the old roads of the village, Wynyards, Court St., Church St. and Colham Lane.

Members of the Street Fair Committee

The Parish Council of Winsham encouraged by their Chairman, Mary Loaring, decided to take part, by reviving the Street Fair with the theme of the Monmouth Rebellion on the dates laid down in the Ancient Charter. The County Authorities had issued ideas and details of correct period costumes etc. and the Parish Council, organisers of the Street Fair that year, were able to use this information to good effect.
That Street fair was so successful that two years later in 1987, the anniversary year of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations and the gift of the Hall to the Village, the Jubilee Hall Committee organised the Street Fair with a Victorian theme. The monies raised were put to good use, the Jubilee Hall was extended and a kitchen fitted out. This arrangement continued with various themes until 1996 when a Street Fair Committee was formed to ensure continuation of the tradition. The Street fair Committee, a group of locals who spend two years generally enjoying themselves, raise money by organising events in the village. The money raised is used to sponsor and to support the organisation of each Street Fair.
The theme for the last three Street Fairs have been (1996) Wild West, (1998) Carnival and (2000) Back to the Future. Church Street and its surrounding areas are decorated to suit the Theme and each organisation in the village has a stall or stalls to raise money. Other attractions are brought in and sponsored using funds raised by the Street Fair Committee to help everything go with a swing. One of the important points about the Street fair in its modern guise is that it attracts people from outside the village and gives local organisation the
opportunity to raise money. An added benefit is that it brings villagers, past and present, together and renews all those old acquaintances. We meet all those people that we haven't seen for two years.

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This page revised 12 May 2009

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