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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Petition calls for return of Great Fair to Carlisle

A petition has been launched calling for the Great Fair to be brought back to Carlisle.

Great Fair photo
Pageant of 1977 at Carlisle Castle, showing the crying of the Great Fair of AD 1400 by city crier John Tindle

The e-petition, which has been submitted to the city council, is calling for the full fair to return, complete with floats, entertainment and even a pram race.

Andrew Hill, co-creator of the Old Carlisle Facebook page which features old photos and facts about the city, started the petition. He said he had a month to get 100 signatures to trigger a debate by the council executive.

He would like to see all stall holders to be given a free pitch and free entry to local attractions such as Tullie House, Carlisle Castle and the Undercroft at the train station.

“We could have open days at Carrs and Pirellis, if they wished,” he said. “There could be a facility for the public to make a donation and the money could be divided between local charities after the event.”

The last great fair, in August, was held in 1983 but the tradition has been kept alive with a food fair in the city centre.

Mr Hill said the event could be opened by a traditional town crier and said the council could also consider a military assault course at Bitts Park, the Botchergate pram race and “lots of bunting”.

A spokeswoman for the city council said Mr Hill did not need to get 100 signatures but that a council director would reply to his proposals after his March 7 deadline.

Michelle Wiggins, of Tullie House, said they were planning their own traditional fair for the first time this August. Details have yet to be confirmed but they are basing it on an old-style fun fair complete with coconut shy and candyfloss, she said.

Scores of people welcomed Mr Hill’s petition on the Old Carlisle page.

Robin Brown said it was an ‘excellent idea’.

“The Olympic Torch Relay – for example – proved that the good people of Carlisle will come out onto the streets of Carlisle and get involved if they are given a focus,” he said. “I’d like to see a proper mechanism to get the various areas of the city to get involved in an annual celebration of our great border city.”

Stephen Troughear said: “If you don’t get mass backing for this, the people of Carlisle don’t deserve such a heart warming event. Generations have missed out on The Great Fair, undeservedly, and it’s way past time that it was re-instated.”

Judith Nixon wrote: “I remember spending the afternoon dressed as a giant moneybag on the Midland Bank float. Good times.”

Within an hour of Mr Hill posting the link, the petition had 56 signatures. Visit www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Carlisle/125490877494060?ref=ts&fref=ts

Have your say

I agree totally with "Local res". I would much prefer to support local traders and object to the foreign markets who have "fresh" products (I'm not actually sure how they can advertise their produce as "fresh" when they have come from all over Europe! It is all well and good bringing multi-culture to Carlisle, but this MUST come at a cost to the local traders.

Posted by kate on 19 February 2013 at 10:55

Why not get the Great Fair up and running again. It was very successful then and it will be again. Brings the Community together and pride to our city. So come on Council get your finger out. Or is it too much like hard work to organise?

Posted by Kevin on 16 February 2013 at 09:11

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