>> St James' Day Fayre
St James' Day Fayre
Sunday July 25th 2010 saw the local community revive the tradition of a St James’ Day Fayre with great success. Although initiated by the Town Council, very many local people helped in many ways to make this a truly special day. My sincere thanks to everyone and to our sponsors (West Wight Landscape Partnership, Wightlink, Harbour Commissioners, Kingston & Grist).
We were celebrating the grant of our first Charter 875 years ago, in 1135, by Baldwin de Redvers, Lord of the Wight. Yarmouth was seen as one of the three most important towns on the English south coast (along with Portsmouth and Southampton) by 1200, and its lively history has since been enhanced by colourful personalities. We have much to cherish and also much to live up to, and our Fayre proved a worthy tribute to the past.
The Opening ceremony was marked by local churchmen and by the High Sheriff, Peter Kingston, who made a presentation to the Spirit of Carnival, Jenny, in this important centenary year of Yarmouth Carnival.
Nineteen local stalls showcased local crafts and activities, whilst dance groups, musicians and a magician provided lively entertainment in the sunlit Square. Curtain Up theatre group members in medieval costume mingled with the crowd, adding lovely atmosphere. Yarmouth’s Fire & Rescue Service brought its engine into the Square and erected stocks, gallantly occupied by the newest recruit fireman who was pelted at 20p a time with wet sponges.
Important exhibits of artefacts, manuscripts and Rowlandson prints were displayed by the Town Trust in the Town Hall; the Harbour Reception staged a display related to the Estuary and to the Pier, and the local RNLI Lifeboat was open to the public. Fifteen local eating venues offered special dishes and the Minghella family kindly donated a delicious St James’ Day Ice Cream to be sold in aid of Yarmouth Primary School.
Although Yarmouth is now said to be the second smallest town in the country, this special day proved once again that it can claim to be the town with the greatest spirit.
Yarmouth Town Council Report. By Steve Cowley, Mayor