AL­BION FAIRS – A SUF­FOLK HIS­TORY

EADT Suffolk - - Folkeast -

Af­ter the orig­i­nal run of Bar­sham ‘me­dieval’ Faires by the East Anglian Arts Trust in the early 1970s, hardly a cor­ner of south or east Suf­folk, from Blun­de­ston and East Bergholt to Her­ringfleet Heights and Hevening­ham, was left un­touched by their trav­el­ling fair legacy, the Al­bion Fairs fran­chise. From 1976 into the 1980s, the fairs came in many guises, Faerie, Green, Moon, Sun or Fire, Mistle­toe or Tree, of­ten as­so­ci­at­ing them­selves with sig­nif­i­cant an­cient sites such as Oaksmere, Bram­field’s oak and Met­ting­ham Cas­tle near Bun­gay.

The last Bar­sham Faire was held in 1976 when it was de­cided it had out­grown its site. To savour the true flavour of the fair (or reminisce) you can watch footage by Min­strel Films at the East Anglian Film Archive web­site (www.eafa.org.uk) or read the Waveney Clar­ion, the fairs scene’s orig­i­nal monthly mag, which per­haps in­spired FolkEast’s East­folk Chron­i­cle (www. waven­eyclar­ion.co.uk). Oh, and don’t miss the Fairs Archive (www.fair­sarchive. org), for all the his­tory, thrills, spills, pho­to­graphic mem­o­ries and mer­chan­dise sur­round­ing the East Anglian Fairs of 1972-1986.

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