Melford Street Fair to be resurrected after ‘public outcry’

The Long Melford Street Fair is set to go ahead with a new organising committee. L-R: John Nunn, Stu

The Long Melford Street Fair is set to go ahead with a new organising committee. L-R: John Nunn, Stuart Poole and Colin Woodhouse. - Credit: Archant

A popular annual street fair which was cancelled this year because it had become “too big” is back on after a “public outcry” on social media.

A packed Hall Street in Long Melford during a previous street fair.

A packed Hall Street in Long Melford during a previous street fair. - Credit: Andy Abbott

Last week the EADT revealed that the Long Melford Street Fair, which attracts thousands of visitors to the picturesque village every summer, was to be replaced with a smaller event for local people.

According to council chairman Jayne Lines, the fair with its dozens of stalls and attractions along the length of Hall Street had become too big to control and had led to antisocial behaviour from youngsters drinking too much and getting out of control.

But now a group of villagers has decided to resurrect the event after dozens of people voiced their disappointment over the decision to cancel.

One of them, Babergh councillor John Nunn, who has served on the street fair organising committee, said: “Because of the public outcry on social media when people heard that the fair was cancelled, we have now found a new person to chair the committee and we fully intend to stage the event again this year if we can get enough support from volunteers and traders.”

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New chairman Stuart Poole who is spearheading the team said the overwhelming majority of local people were in favour of the fair going ahead. He said he disagreed with Mrs Lines’ comments about it attracting trouble to the village.

“We have never had any problems with alcohol at the fair which is always packed and is a fantastic event,” Mr Poole said.

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“In record years, and despite some really unfortunate weather in the past, we get in excess of 10,000 people visiting the village which can only be a bonus.

“Some local traders may not see a lot of trade on the day but it’s about introducing people to Long Melford.

“I have decided to chair the committee because I love the village and am so passionate about the fair.

“I have spoken to several traders who all want to come along and are really looking forward to it.”

Although the parish council donated £2,000 to help get the first street fair up and running some 15 years ago, it has been organised by councillors Carole and Richard Michette independently of the council.

Last night Mrs Lines said: “The parish council has never had anything to do with the street fair in the past and when I said there wasn’t going to be one this year it was because I was led to believe there were not enough volunteers to organise it.”

There is a balance in excess of £3,000 left in the street fair account which will be used to help put on the event early July. The organising committee is looking for traders to take stalls and for volunteers to act as stewards for four hours on the day.

Anyone interested in getting involved can email or call Mr Poole on 01787 312131.

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