Medieval Fair flies the flag


34DSCF2934Winchelsea turned out on Saturday for a pop-up Medieval Fair organised by the Winchelsea Bonfire Boyes to partially fill the gap left by the cancellation of the village’s summer fete. This controversial decision had been triggered by the decision of the Rye Country Show to move to a nearby site on the same date.

The Medieval Fair took place in Rookery Lane in Winchelsea and featured stalls which the Bonfire Boyes had planned to set up at the fete. There was also a stall run by the Winchelsea Corporation, and tea and cakes were served in the garden of Strand Plat in aid of the New Hall, by kind permission of the owner, Maddie Coelho. Many of the volunteers running stalls dressed up in medieval costume.IMG_6561

The most popular of the Bonfire Boyes’ stalls was the Medieval Fruit Machine (pictured above), manned by three medieval maidens picking fruit from separate bags. Three identical fruits won a bottle of champagne. There was also a Medieval Unlucky Dip offering punters the chance to pull a prize out of one of six covered buckets but at the risk of sticking their hand into something highly suspect in the other five buckets.41DSCF2941

Another stall sold local produce made by residents and there was also a tombola. Meanwhile, a Pardoner (please refer to Chaucer) sold indulgences for moral offences ranging from encroaching on public land (very topical in Winchelsea at the moment) and Brexiting/Bremaining. For the more active visitor, there was an opportunity to throw wet sponges at a victim in the stocks (above)wearing a face mask of choice, including Donald Trump (very popular), Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn and other famous/notorious politicians.

The Bonfire Boyes had hoped to demonstrate their trebuchet (catapult, left) but construction was not finished in time for this year’s event. However, the Bonfire Boyes professed themselves to be very satisfied with the event. “It was a fun day in beautiful weather. The stalls and volunteers looked superb. And we and the New Hall made a bit of money. It’s important to have a summer event in Winchelsea, to bring the town together. It is often the only time you see many other residents.”

Eyes are now being turned to next year’s fete and the hope that it will be reinstated, perhaps under new management. The Bonfire Boyes are hoping so, as they will have a working trebuchet to show off.


Photos: Richard Comotto

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