Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Chertsey Black Cherry Fair

Posted on by royvickery |

Chertsey, Surrey, held its annual Black Cherry Fair on Saturday 14 July 2018.  According to the brief history of the Fair provided in its programme:

‘In 1440 King Henry VI granted the Abbot of  Chertsey permission to hold an annual fair  … originally it was known as St Ann’s Fair but perhaps due to Henry VIII’s Reformation the name was secularised to the Black Cherry Fair …  The fair had a few lean years between the wars and was superseded for a time by an annual “Sports Day” …  It was in 1975 that the fair was properly re-established and is now held every year on the second Saturday in July.’

The day starts with the Town Procession.  In 2018 this was rather small: a few vintage cars, two bands, about four floats, and one walking group.  The theme selected for 2018 was ’20th Century Heroes’, and amongst the more easily recognised ones were David Attenborough, Bob Geldoff, the emergency services, and suffragettes.  It appeared that most local organisations preferred to put their resources into stalls on the fairground, rather than producing groups for the parade.  The fairground held the usual mixture of stalls raising awareness of local organisations, commercial stalls, a small arena, and traditional fairground rides.

Apart from a cherry motif decorating one page in the programme, cherries (Prunus cvs), black or otherwise, were conspicuously absent.

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