And Now it is King James’ II Turn…..

So we had  National Megaphone Day  on 30th May, passed as a Royal charter in the year of King Charles’ II death, 1685. Now we have the Appleby Horse Fair,  Westmorland Cumbria,which has taken place on the first Thursday in June ( the 2nd of June -today, being the first day it allowed) since James II jumped onto the throne the same year. James passed a Royal charter allowing a horse fair “near to the River Eden”. Since then, around ten thousand Gypsies and Travellers have converged each year to buy and sell horses, meet with friends and relations, and celebrate their music, history and folklore. Another thirty thousand people visit the fair during the week.

The fair is one of the oldest horse fairs in Britain. The fair is held outside the town  on what was formerly called Gallows Hill (named after the public hangings  that were carried out there), which is now known as Fair Hill.

The fair customarily starts on the first Thursday in June, unless that is on the 1st in which case it starts on the 8th, and ends on the following Wednesday. Besides the horses, there are also  fortune tellers, palm readers and horse-related merchandise.

So the old Kings were busy round those times, cooking up charters, here there and everywhere. We could do with a few more of them now I think. We need to  invent some. What about Punk Thames Fair Day, when all punk rockers were allowed to go to the River Thames and sail  paper boats on it while singing ‘God Save the Queen”, or Anti Facist Zombies Fair –when young people who felt the need to dress up as Zombies could strut around in an anarchic, anti-fascist sort of way could let red balloons off the top of Parliament Hill, while singing songs like ‘we live in a fascist regime'(they would soon know if they did!). Or the Holloway Town Rat Fair, when people who owned small ferral looking dogs came together to share small dog related memorabilia, and could sing ‘How much is that Doggie in the Window’ together….yup I may have just finally tipped over the edge of sanity!

SONG OF THE DAY America-Horse With No Name

Great song to play on the guitar and a little link with todays special festival.


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