17th Feb, 2019

Kenilworth Horse Fair to return this year

Laura Kearns 7th Feb, 2019 Updated: 7th Feb, 2019

THE CONTROVERSIAL Kenilworth Horse Fair is set to return to the town.

The event, which previously took place three times a year, was cancelled in 2018 as the owners of land off Thickthorn Island sold up to make way for a new 760 home development.

Police and Warwick District Council welcomed the news that last September’s fair was to be the last, saying despite putting plans in place the event still caused disruption.

There have previously been reports of criminal damage to properties and vehicles around the site, and some pubs and shops in the town have even closed their doors during the event.

But organisers of the fair – which has taken place in the town since 2001 and attracts thousands from the traveller community – say the event will go ahead in Kenilworth from Thursday April 25 to Sunday April 28.

But they will not disclose the location until the proposed site has been confirmed.

And Mike Davidson, a member of the travelling community who promotes the fairs, invited residents to attend the event to find out more about traveller and gypsy culture.

He told the Observer: “Fairs like Kenilworth, Appleby and Stow are the only times when the whole community from the UK and around the world can get together and meet.

“Taking our fairs away is huge. They are for everyone with interests in the same things – whether gypsy folks or country people. I hope if it does return this year that maybe folks who knock it, and who have never been, can come along and help one of the only cultures left in this country keep going.

“Keeping horse fairs is the same as keeping race meetings. You must have places where everyone can meet and keep doing what they love. Don’t knock what you’ve never tried – listening to others sometimes is the worst thing you can do.”

Warwick District Council says it is ‘monitoring’ the situation but has not been contacted by organisers about the fair.

A spokesman said: “We are aware that there have been a number of rumours regarding the horse fair taking place on another site within the vicinity of Kenilworth, however the organisers have not spoken to the council about the event or an alternative site.

“We are continuing to work with the police to monitor the situation.”

Police declined to comment.

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