Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Steeped in tradition, Brigg Horse Fair will be played out on Saturday, off Station Road. (August 5 - the "proper" day falls on a Sunday this year, so the event has been brought forward a day).
You won't find this Linkinsheer 'Oss Fair in official guides to what's on - because it's a traditional, unofficial event that involves travellers/gypsies arriving from all parts and trading their steeds in the time-honoured fashion.
The horses will be paraded along Station Road from North Lincolnshire Council's offices all the way to the start of the former railway yard.
Most of the action, though, will go on close to the railway station. And expect to see a good number of stalls and table-top sales of lace, trinkets and horse-related items.
Those reading this post who live well outside Brigg and fancy making their very first trip to the event should be under no illusions. It's not exactly a romantic get-together that is played out to the strains of classical composer Delius' famous rhapsody Brigg Fair.
It can get a bit niffy and you will need to watch where you put your feet (with all them 'osses' about).
But it's a real rarity these days - a spectator event that's FREE to the public and that hasn't been taken over to a huge degree by health and safety, though we expect the usual barriers to appear along Station Road to keep small children away from trotting ponies.
We advise getting down between 9.30 and 10am and maybe staying an hour or two before popping into Brigg for some welcome refreshment. 
There are trains running along the Brigg line on Saturday, so folk out at Gainsborough or Grimsby/Cleethorpes might like to take advantage.
Here are a few pix from the 2011 Brigg Horse Fair, just to put us all in the mood for Saturday.


Ken Harrison said...

The 'proper' day, according to the Charter is St James's Day - which is July 25th.
Brigg Fair is steeped in tradition - there is no charter for the so-called Brigg Horse Fair.
The horse trading aspect attached itself to Brigg Fair around 100 years ago.
As Brigg Fair declined, the unofficial Brigg Horse Fair grew in popularity.


In the 13th century, Brigg was granted a charter to hold a fair. There might have been a few horses about in the early years, in what's now the Market Place (belonging to merchants or the very rich) but the main purpose was not to trade steeds, as Ken rightly says. Can anyone give a decade when the Horse Fair as we know it began during Queen Victoria's reign? I explained to someone only the other day that the Horse Fair does NOT date back to the 13th century, though Brigg fair does. Looking at Ken's date of July 25th makes me wonder whether the difference in time can be put down to the adjustment of the calendar in the UK during the 18th century. Some days were taken out. It's sometimes suggested that Brits back then objected strongly to having some days of their lives stolen from them by the authorities. That might be a myth. If anyone can tell us, it will be Ken.