Scarborough Council confirm Seamer Horse Fair has been cancelled amid pandemic

Scarborough Council has confirmed that this year’s Seamer Horse Fair, which was due to take place on July 15, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 11:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 11:40 am
Seamer Horse Fair. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter
Seamer Horse Fair. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

The authority said the horse fair will not be going ahead due to the ongoing government restrictions placed on large events.

The annual horse fair was due held on Scarborough Council-owned land, off the B1261 between Seamer and Crossgates. Once a thriving meet-up in the travellers’ calendar, the number of people attending the Seamer fair has dropped in recent years.

A number of other high profile horse fairs throughout the country, including Appleby and Wickham, have already been cancelled.

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Scarborough Council says it has been working with North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire County Council and RSPCA, to engage with the travelling community to ensure they are fully aware of the cancellation of the fair, well in advance, to ensure they do not make journeys to the Scarborough area.

In a joint statement, the partner organisations said: “The cancellation of the horse fair is in line with current government restrictions on large events, where crucial social distancing measures that need to remain in place for the foreseeable future, would be seriously compromised if the event went ahead.

“It is important that all communities play their part in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Our dialogue with the travelling community about the cancellation of the fair will emphasise this collective responsibility.”

Two of Seamer’s borough and county councillors, Helen Mallory and David Jeffels, had both called on the fair to be cancelled, saying it would have been “irresponsible” to allow the fair to go ahead.

The origin of the Seamer fair dates back to a Royal Charter issued in November 1382 by Richard II.

It was not until the 1900s that the fair became associated with travellers.

Following a pitched battle in 1911 the travellers were forbidden to enter the village or camp on the green.

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