Horse trading and tradition

Seamer Fair... Kids scramble for coins at Mayfield Cottages in Eastgate...
Seamer Fair... Kids scramble for coins at Mayfield Cottages in Eastgate...

FOLLOWING a tradition said to date back to the 14th century, the ancient Seamer charter was read yesterday, in several locations around the village, with youngsters eagerly collecting coins which were thrown for good luck.

The reading was made by John Senior, headteacher of George Pindar Community Sports College, who said it was an honour to be involved.

He said: “It’s a good chance to be involved with the community and give a positive message on how communities can work together.”

Cllr Dorothy Morrison, a members of Seamer Parish Council and one of the fair’s organisers, said: “The tradition will carry on as long as we are here. It’s gone on since 1383 – the sixth year of the reign of King Richard II. The kids absolutely love it.”

Locals welcomed youngsters from the travelling community who arrived by horse and cart and also collected some of the coins.

Cllr Hayley Pickles, of the parish council and one of the organisers, said: “It’s been brilliant this year. We’ve had no trouble and everyone’s enjoyed it. The past is in the past and we can move forward and get along side-by-side.”

The reading of the Royal Charter is the start to the Seamer Fair, which is said to date back to when Richard II granted the charter, allowing the village to hold a six-day fair and a Monday Market.

However the tradition died out, until 200 years later when the fair and market were brought back to life by Sir Henry Gate, Lord of the Manor of Seamer.

Alongside the Seamer Fair is the Seamer Horse Fair, which is considered a separate entity.

This year more than 200 caravans have been on the council-owned land, to the north of the B1261 between Seamer and Crossgates, since Wednesday last week.

Andy Skelton, head of environmental services said: “We are very pleased that the space we have allocated for visitor parking has worked because that’s minimised disruption.”

Reuben Wilkinson, a traveller from Bradford, said the site had worked well this year. He added: “I think this is the biggest fair it has been here in a lot of years.” As well as the horse trading, there were a lot more stalls these days.