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Cheam Charter Fair 2013

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
A Fair as Old as Cheam Itself
cheam charter fair
Cheam Charter Fair 2012

Although there are no historical records until the 19th century, it is believed that the Cheam Charter Fair began way back in the 13th century. This is because 1259 is the most important year in Cheam's history: the year it was officially given town status in a charter by King Henry III.

The first known mention of the fair, however, is in the 1800s, when all the schools were closed on the 15th May so everyone could celebrate. In the years to pass, the fair faced the prospect of closure, but community spirit kept it going, and during the Second World War, the fair continued to take place, even though all they had was an ice cream stand and a dart board.

During the 1950s the entertainment was a bit more fulfilling, with maypole, folk, and ballet dancing. There were also gardens to explore, a goldfish exhibition, and women's carpentry workshops. The sixties went on to hold a beer drinking competition, and the fair of 1962 still holds the record of two and a half pints in fifteen seconds.

So what will be happening in the year 2013? Well the day will start with the opening ceremony at 9am, which will be held at St Dunstan's Church. There will be singing from the St Dunstan's School choir, followed by a procession to Park Road, where the main events will be taking place.

While most fairs are all about food, glorious food, the Cheam Charter Fair is taking a different approach. There is no need to worry about missing out on your morning exercise, because at 10.15am Fiesta Fitness will be giving everyone a Zumba workout.

You can then wind down with some ye olden style music as Piper the piper travels through the town playing the bagpipes between 11am-11.30am. Immediately after, there will be a group of clog dancers, then at 12.15pm you can see a Yoga demonstration and sign up for a free yoga class with YogaGenie.

Stalls at the fair will include the Cheam Boy's Brigade, local scout groups, and Allwoods Plant Centre, and various traders such as jewellery sellers, handmade sweet & artisan food stalls, and kids' crafts areas, where they can have face painting.
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Why? Fun for families
When: 18th May
Where: Park Road, Cheam
Cost: Free
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