Sunday, 19 May 2019

The Fair's In Town!

The little town of Baldock has been organising fairs in its main street for over 800 years, so they know how to do it properly. Of course things change a bit over the years, though some of the people there would not have looked out of place several centuries ago.

The members of Medieval Combat Society were crashing into each other with reckless intensity. Others were of a more peaceable disposition....

There were many stalls representing community groups or selling local produce. The stall selling bread looked really tempting....

….and some jam to go with it perhaps....

Or maybe you'd prefer to catch a duck (?)….

The medieval knights were not the only ones involved in violent confrontation.....

Yes, Mr Punch is still bashing all-comers about the head with little regard for political correctness.

Running alongside the Historic Street Fair and bringing a lot of colour to the scene was a Day of Dance, organised by Baldock Midnight Morris Dancers.

The Midnight Morris was originally formed to dance at events in Baldock when the organisers had been unable to book a side from elsewhere. Now many local dancers come to dance in Baldock at this event.

Above are "Riseley Roughshod" from Bedfordshire who dance in the northern clog morris tradition. They step to the rhythm of the tunes using special "clogs" decorated with bells.

The strange people dressed in green and purple are Wicket Brood Border Morris. I'd often wondered about the significance of the name Wicket Brood, but the explanation is simple - they come from the village of Brickett Wood, nothing like a good Spoonerism!

There were rapper sword dancers doing their complicated routine too.....

….and even Appalachian dancers appropriately called "Tappalachian", also from the local area. Who knew that the Appalachians stretched as far as Hertfordshire?

But perhaps the most colourful and exotic of all the dancers present were the Morena Dance Company who performed their dances from Slovakia. According to their website they are officially called Folklórny súbor Morena Londýn.

Two of their number also played and sang a song. Of course I couldn't understand a word of it but they gave such an expressive performance that I was rivetted throughout.

And they danced wonderfully!

Take care.


  1. I would love to see the dancing, once in a while I see some Morris dancing here in California but you saw many different kinds.

    1. If you care to click on the "YouTube videos" tab at the top of the blog you can see several different types of dance. I don't know why I didn't record one yesterday, it would have been the ideal place to do it.

  2. Wonderful! So much to see and experience.

  3. The bread looks really good. Before I retired I used to patronize a bakery in Toronto area and the breads they made were truly delicious, especially their sourdough. Now I never go anywhere near there and I miss their bread. Great bread is hard to find.

  4. What a great fair. Very entertaining.

  5. Everyone looks like they are having a ridiculous amount of fun! :-)

  6. Oh this does look like such fun fair! Punch and Judy, Medieval combat, Morris dancers, and fair games all make for good entertainment. However, I did giggle slightly when I read "Rapper sword dancers." I envisioned rhyming gentlemen dancing about with a microphone in one hand and a sword in the other.

  7. i love seeing dancers like that, and all we get here are the Appalachian cloggers. Oh well. Seems some have influenced your area after all!

  8. Oh dear, Fairs in this New World are so tame compared to what you are treated to!!!

  9. That is one colourful fair. The dancers must have been entertaining while the bread and jam looks delicious. I love the lady's hat on the plant stall.

  10. Quintessential English fair John, so much fun! Love the lady from the Horticultural society's hat 🌼🌸🌹🌺 Is there anything as delicious as freshly baked bread and jam, yum ✨

  11. I love seeing these fairs there. So full of enthusiasm and joyful energy. That bread looks so delicious. I would have had to buy a loaf or two.

  12. Great photos! It's fun for me to see celebrations in countries different from my own.

  13. Hi John - you've done Baldock Fair proud ... delightful photos and so good to know there's lots of representation around. Thanks - cheers Hilary

  14. What a amazing photos...I felt like I was there! Would love to hear the music and dance along! The costumes are beautiful! I'm enjoying your blog!


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