By 11.30 pm on Tuesday the dismantling of the fair was well underway. I decided that I would not walk across the Market Place at it was so full of activity, with rides being put away quicker than they were put up.
Great care was taken with the big expensive rides. They were collapsed and folded into shapes that fitted into a lorry. A man put on a harness and went on a lift to the top of the high swing roundabout to collapse the large tower from the top down.
Taking longer than most was the stall that sold only doughnuts. It took time to serve the queue, and afterwards the man was cleaning all his equipment with care.
Today was very warm and sunny for October. On the Market Place the fair was gone, replaced by the van from Smokefreelife Oxfordshire. They provide a 12 week treatment plan, combining behavioural support with nicotine replacement therapy, free of charge if you live in Oxfordshire.
Yesterday it was raining and there was a line of traffic along Ock Street.
This morning the line of traffic was replaced by the stalls and rides of Abingdon Michaelmas Fair – the longest street fair in Europe.
Local people enjoy strolling the route, from the Market Place to the junction with Drayton Road, to watch the fair being set up .
The Michaelmas Fair coincides with the time when the trees of the Market Place turn deep red.
Old Michaelmas Day falls on 11 October and so the fair is the Monday and Tuesday before Old Michalemas Day.
After everything had been set up, and swept, and checked there was a time of rest, then at 8pm, in the evening, came the Fair Service.
The Mayor of Abingdon and Town Councillors processed to the Galloping Horses, and the Mayor thanked everybody involved in making the fair happen.
Ed Evans, from Abingdon Community Church, led the blessing of the fair which included three hymns, led by Abingdon Town Band, and some prayers.
After that councillors, and anybody who attended the service, were given a free ride on the Galloping Horses.