Category Archives: fair

Runaway Fair


The Runaway Fair is the smaller fair, with children’s rides, on the Monday one week after the Michaelmas Fair.

The fair looked fairly busy today when children had finished school (see picture above).

It is called the runaway fair because:
a) children often runaway from school to go to the runaway fair.
b) adults used to runaway from employment taken at the Michaelmas hiring Fair and found new employment at the Runaway hiring fair.
c) a few childrens’ rides runaway from the main Michaelmas fair and come back to Abingdon.

Longest Street Fair in the UK ( 1½ miles long ) – 2021


The Abingdon Street Fair was back after missing a year in 2020. Street vendors were outside their restaurants to add local colour to the event.

Abingdon has a vibrant restaurant scene.

There were only a few face masks to be seen.
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The crowds were big.

The rides look the same as two years ago when the event was last held.

Here is a video of some of the rides.

Abingdon Street Fair set up and Fair Service


This is the view from our window, early this morning, as a children’s ride awaits its turn to join the other rides in the fair.

This is the view at about midday as people work hard to put together the many parts of the Hebborn’s Waltzer.

This is how far they had got.

Here are some of the people who, like me, take pictures of the workers setting up the fair.
Just before 7 pm, Revd, Charles Miller arrived to lead the Fair Service .

Music for hymns was provided by Abingdon Town Band

The Mayor and Abingdon Town Councillors helped to lead the service. The Mayor thanked many people for making the fair possible, including Mr William Wilson M.B.E., and his wife Emily, who lead the organisation of the fair.

After the service, those that wanted could have a ride on Hebborn’s Galloping Horses carousel. Pictured are Mr Nigel Warner, the Town Clerk; Cllr Samantha Bowring, the leader of the town council; and The Mayor, Cllr Cheryl Briggs.

June Funfair and Morris Dancers on Ock Street


Along Ock Street are posters for a funfair at Ladygrove Meadow, beside the River Ock. NHS Staff with IDs can ride for free.

Abingdon once boasted seven fairs. The Michaelmas Fair is still very large and successful. There was also a Ock Street Fair in June. And the Funfair says ‘glad to be back’. I am not sure it is the same one.

A sign at the fairground entrance lists the Covid-19 rules and regulations.

The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers were dancing outside the Brewery Tap, off Ock Street, at around 3 pm.

Mr Harry Knight was made the mock mayor of Ock Street for next year without the usual election – because of Covid-19 rules and regulations.

Also present was Roger Cox, a previous mock mayor of several years. He now prefers to carry the real mantle of power – a pig’s bladder. He is officially called the fool. In Shakespeare, fools are clever commoners that use their wits to outdo Lords and Kings. In Abingdon, fools are clever commoners who use their wit and pigs bladder to drive Morris Dancers.

The horns are taken from a black ox, roasted on the Bury in Abingdon in the year 1700. An argument broke out between the men of Ock Street and the men of The Vineyard over the ownership of the horns. The horns were wrestled over the Ock Street finishing line after a determined battle between the men of both streets. The Ock Street men got to keep the horns and are still showing them off over three hundred years later.