Fun of the fair goes on and on

Children enjoy one of the rides

Children enjoy one of the rides

First published in News

THOUSANDS of people descended on Abingdon for Europe’s longest street fair.

The annual Michaelmas Fair attracted hordes of fun lovers today – with the same expected between noon and 11pm tomorrow.

At one-mile long, the organisers claim the two-day event stretches further than any other on the continent. It features rides ranging from waltzers to a bungee jump. The High Street, Market Place and Ock Street are closed to traffic while the fair, which dates from the 14th century, takes place.

Festivities began on Sunday when more than 150 people packed the Market Place for an open air service conducted by the Rev Richard Bittleston, of the Trinity Church, and featuring music from the Abingdon Town Band.

Town mayor Patricia Hobby marked the occasion by taking the first ride on the carousel. She said: “The fair is absolutely wonderful. I’ve been going since I was younger and it is what makes the town unique.

“It’s part of our history and although it does inconvenience some people it’s worth it.”

Comments (6)

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8:17pm Mon 5 Oct 09

erik256 says...

at last abingdon town council have got their way, the removal of traffic from the town centre and the complete disruption of the travelling motorist hoping to cross abingdon. the effects of this joke are felt as far as the ring road in oxford and didcot with people taking a longer route around to get onto the a34 from the south east of oxfordshire to avoid this bottleneck, thus adding more pollution and wasting fuel. i wondered why it took me 1 hr longer to get to work today and why the traffic was queued way past the bridge at littlemore, now i remember the road abingdon is closed off due to this stupid fair! why cant they have it on the field at abingdon?
at last abingdon town council have got their way, the removal of traffic from the town centre and the complete disruption of the travelling motorist hoping to cross abingdon. the effects of this joke are felt as far as the ring road in oxford and didcot with people taking a longer route around to get onto the a34 from the south east of oxfordshire to avoid this bottleneck, thus adding more pollution and wasting fuel. i wondered why it took me 1 hr longer to get to work today and why the traffic was queued way past the bridge at littlemore, now i remember the road abingdon is closed off due to this stupid fair! why cant they have it on the field at abingdon? erik256
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Mon 5 Oct 09

mrsutton says...

i live in abingdon and had to sit in traffic this morning for 45minutes,so what. the fairs on for 2days and its fun for the children i know my little girl loves it. it's grumpy old tw**s like you mr erik256 that is making this country the way it is!get over it!!
i live in abingdon and had to sit in traffic this morning for 45minutes,so what. the fairs on for 2days and its fun for the children i know my little girl loves it. it's grumpy old tw**s like you mr erik256 that is making this country the way it is!get over it!! mrsutton
  • Score: 0

11:02am Tue 6 Oct 09

abingdonian says...

Until the mid-1970s the A34 went through Abingdon and along Ock Street - all the lorries going to and from Southampton docks, tank transporters to Salisbury Plain as well as the local traffic. We survived then, I'm sure we'll survive now! Lighten up and put it down to English quirkiness.
Until the mid-1970s the A34 went through Abingdon and along Ock Street - all the lorries going to and from Southampton docks, tank transporters to Salisbury Plain as well as the local traffic. We survived then, I'm sure we'll survive now! Lighten up and put it down to English quirkiness. abingdonian
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Wed 7 Oct 09

purpleturtle says...

The Michaelmas Fair has been in Abingdon shortly after St Giles Fair in Oxford for as long as I can rememeber. It's normaly around the same time every year and I always go, now taking my children and hopefully in years to come my Grandchildren. If it poses such a problem for 'erick256' may I suggest you either take the 2 days off work or car share? Maybe if you took the time off you could go to the fair and have some fun or would this be too much for you? It's a tradition, something thats becoming very few and far between these days and as it has the status of the longest street fair in Europe why on earth would we want rid of it? Lighten up and get yourself on the Waltzers, you may even enjoy it!!
The Michaelmas Fair has been in Abingdon shortly after St Giles Fair in Oxford for as long as I can rememeber. It's normaly around the same time every year and I always go, now taking my children and hopefully in years to come my Grandchildren. If it poses such a problem for 'erick256' may I suggest you either take the 2 days off work or car share? Maybe if you took the time off you could go to the fair and have some fun or would this be too much for you? It's a tradition, something thats becoming very few and far between these days and as it has the status of the longest street fair in Europe why on earth would we want rid of it? Lighten up and get yourself on the Waltzers, you may even enjoy it!! purpleturtle
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Fri 9 Oct 09

colbart says...

Abingdon Charter is always mentioned whenever it is asked, put it in a field.

Payments are made to Abingdon Town to 'compensate'. That was in the times of simple stalls, not mega machines charging a fortune for a few minutes of a ride.

Abingdon Charter is always mentioned whenever it is asked, put it in a field. Payments are made to Abingdon Town to 'compensate'. That was in the times of simple stalls, not mega machines charging a fortune for a few minutes of a ride. colbart
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Fri 9 Oct 09

mickey-bear says...

Wonderful though it is, the Abingdon street fair falls some way short of being Europe's longest. The Kermesse de Bruxelles or Midi Fair runs all the way from the old Porte de Halle to the Porte d'Anderlecht and attracts some 1.7 million visitors a year. It runs the length of the Boulevard du Midi, a residential area of the city, running right down past the Midi station and beyond. I would guess that it extends at least 3km, if not more.
Wonderful though it is, the Abingdon street fair falls some way short of being Europe's longest. The Kermesse de Bruxelles or Midi Fair runs all the way from the old Porte de Halle to the Porte d'Anderlecht and attracts some 1.7 million visitors a year. It runs the length of the Boulevard du Midi, a residential area of the city, running right down past the Midi station and beyond. I would guess that it extends at least 3km, if not more. mickey-bear
  • Score: 0

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