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Appleby Horse Fair


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Friday 4th June welcomes the start of the Appleby Horse Fair, dating back many hundreds of years and steeped in tradition, a place for Gypsy families to meet old friends, for young people to marry or find a husband, to buy a horse, to lose on the trotting races.


The fair is held on Gallows Hill and starts Friday, it continues until tuesday unless the weather is wet and then the field turns into glutenous mud, you put your foot in and it comes out minus boot.


Gypsy children are on holiday and are totally at ease with their own world around them, anyone who is lucky enough to visit should take notice how many parents they see physically chastising their children - this will be very few, it is an opportunity to see how cherished and valued children are by their parents, its a holiday for them as well, they enjoy it.


In the town of Appleby there is a free exhibition in the supper room - this is above the market and is close to the tourist information centre. Also this is where teams from Traveller education services around the country come together to raise awareness of Traveller culture and educational issues, discrimination and marginalisation. There is a free in-service training session which is usually pre-booked, there may be places on spec but if not the team would be only too pleased to speak to individuals at the end of a session as the exhibition is managed throughout the day.


The river is also a point of interest - horses are washed in the river prior to selling on the hill at the fair. Watch for the slapping of hands to seal a deal on a horse.


Be careful of the trotting lane where horses are put through their paces and go very fast.


On the field there is a stand managed by the Traveller education service again, here parents are encouraged to talk to the team about issues they have with education. activities keep children occupied while parents talk to the teachers. often there are early years activities for very small children.


have your fortune told, buy a lucky charm or some beautiful china, crown derby is a particular favourite, minton, wedgewood also.


Lovely bedding, cushions, dresses and fancy shoes are some of the stalls to browse.


crystal from waterford is in abundance

as is tack for horses, cooking pots for open fires, horse blankets, bridles, you name it - you can probably buy it




hundreds of stalls to browse

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whoops forgot to say e-mail/Pm me for more details directions etc, its probably about one and a half hours drive from Manchester. Its easy to find - I found it!! Off the M6 motorway heading for Penrith/Cumbria ( about junction 37 ish) :o:(:):(xD

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Thanks Lesley! I WISH I could go but alas I am running the pre-school whilst the manager is away :o


I have heard sooooo much about Appleby horse fair from soo many people I will get there one day! Maybe next year :D

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Too far for me to go and I've got work this week too unfortunately. xD I'll just have to wait to hear all about it from you! :) Have a great time (and I'll pray for sun for you! :o ) :D:D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Appleby Horse Fair was brilliant, the sun was shining and the children were delightful (honest), met some old friends and some lovely families.

Steve if you're reading this - what about putting some pics on the website - can you do this?

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