Traditional fair dates back to time of Henry III

Wickham fair, 1946
Wickham fair, 1946
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We’ve just had the annual Wickham Fair which happens on May 20 each year, but this is how the event looked back in 1946.

It dates back to the time of Henry III who granted it a charter in 1268. The first fair was held the following year during the Feast of the Translation of St Nicholas of Myra.

One of the traditional features of the fair is the horse sales at The Star corner where horse-trading families, many from the New Forest, gather to sell or barter their livestock.

The sales begin with the traditional ceremony of ‘wetting the horse’s head’ at the bar of The Star.

As the crowds proved at last week’s gathering, it is still a popular event in the Hampshire calendar when hundreds of revellers and visitors fill the square.

The steam-powered gallopers featured in this photograph were owned by the Stokes family.

In the centre of this scene, almost in front of The King’s Head hotel, is a reminder of the recent war – a concrete bomb shelter for Wickham villagers.