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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Big crowds enjoyed all the fun of the Georgian Fair

Thousands of people turned out for Cockermouth’s Georgian Fair to enjoy everything from maypole dancing to sedan chair racing.

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For the first time, the fair ran from Thursday to Sunday with events held in Christ Church before the main event on Saturday.

Cockermouth Mechanics Band played Georgian tunes in the Market Place while dance and music band Regency Rejigged performed for the crowds.

The band, from Lancashire and Cheshire, was formed because of the Georgian Fair and it was its third visit to the festival.

There was also maypole dancing in Bitterbeck car park by Broughton and Brigham Brownies and pupils from All Saints School.

Some of the acts that attracted the biggest crowds were the Redcoat displays and performances from the Fairly Famous Family, Swash and Buckle and Martiny’s Magic.

There were also discovery walks around the town, a guided tour round Cockermouth Castle and Georgian cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs John Crouch and Annette Gibbons in the United Reformed Church.

A dance showcase took place in Bitterbeck car park, followed by the costumed parade that went through the town to the Memorial Gardens.

Large crowds gathered to watch the Redcoat musket firing, followed by the Sedan Chair Racing, won by the Ye Olde M-Sport team.

Paul Robinson, 40, of Riverdale Drive, was one of the volunteers who was picked out to help with the Fairly Famous Family routine.

He watched it with his children Iona, five and Harry, three.

He said: “We have been in the town and seen it flooded and it is terrific to walk through it now, see it all with people dressed in all the different outfits.

“It is good for the town which is why we support it.

Mark Skidmore, 41, of St Helens Street, came with his children Anna, 10, Emily, eight, Matthew, five and Beth, three.

He said: “It has been lovely and a great event.

“We have always enjoyed the sedan chair racing and it has been nice to have some good weather.

“It has also allowed the family the chance to dress up as well.”

Ian Allison, 53, of Brigham Road, was attending his first Georgian Fair after moving to Cockermouth in August and came with his son Harris Pollitt, 10. He said: “We have just been walking round and enjoying the day.”

The fair was opened by mayor Christine Smith and fair patrons Lord and Lady Judd.

Lord Judd said: “There has been a very committed band of people who realise how important this can be in the life of Cockermouth.

“They are determined to make it a success and a tremendous amount of work has gone into it.

“Two years ago after the devastating floods the fair went ahead and it was a resounding success nationally and internationally.

“It showed the determination of people to fight back and has established the event more strongly in the future than it was before the floods.

“It is tremendous and special when you look around Cockermouth and the Georgian character is there and we are preserving it for the future in our very special town.

“Hopefully it will be long established in the life of Cockermouth.”

The fair was brought to a close by the finale at All Saints Church.

The concert also featured The Castlegate Singers, Piping Hot and Yann Tan young folk group.

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