Nunney’s sunny fayre attracts thousands

Nunney Street Fayre

Nunney Community Association’s 41st Nunney Street Market & Fayre, on Saturday 6 August, brought an estimated 7,000 visitors to the village.

This year's event was not as overcrowded as last year's.
This year’s event was not as overcrowded as last year’s.

The Nunney Players raised funds serving burgers and bacon rolls.
The Nunney Players raised funds serving burgers and bacon rolls.
The streets around Nunney Castle filled up with stalls from 6am onwards, as stallholders arrived from as far away as Yorkshire.

The weather was glorious from the start, in contrast to downpours in previous years. What clouds there were in the morning largely disappeared after lunch, leaving the event basking in sunshine.

As the smells of dozens of stalls serving a wide range of food and drink filled the air, turnout started noticeably earlier in the day and remained constant throughout.

Last year’s record 10,000 visitors arrived later and made the Market Place and surrounding streets at times uncomfortably overcrowded.

The church tower offered terrific views of the bands playing at the castle.
The church tower offered terrific views of the bands playing at the castle.

John Challis with the Bathampton Morris Men
John Challis with the Bathampton Morris Men
This year’s Nunney Street Market & Fayre was officially opened by John Challis, best-known as comedy legend Boycie from Only Fools and Horses.

John’s mother was born in Somerset and the actor and author frequently shares his enthusiasm for our village with his 56,300 followers on Twitter.

He said: “Nunney is a wonderful village, with a great atmosphere and community spirit. What a great village and a fantastic day in the sunshine.”

As well as over 120 stalls selling gifts, vintage items, bric a brac, collectables, toys, food and drink, plants, garden furniture and lots more, there were magic shows for children throughout the day.

BMX track

Scales & Tails were back with their snakes, spiders and other exotic animals – all rescue animals – and again was a big hit, particularly with young visitors.

imageThe brand new BMX track in Old Quarry Gardens proved very popular too, as were the fairground attractions by the village hall.

Many took the opportunity to sample local produce, from cider and wine to hog roasts and preserves. The Nunney Players burgers and bacon rolls were much in demand.

As well as food, there was music in front of the castle from the Frome Swing Band, French folk trio the Mominettes, pop cover band 7 to 4 and local resident Norman Leater with his trad jazz band the New Academic Feetwarmers.

The ever-popular Bathampton Morris Men performed twice. The Frome Street Bandits performed in the Market Place, as Church Street was considered too packed to allow them to roam the fayre this year.

Neil Murphy and Ellis Dackombe busked at Nunney Fayre.
Neil Murphy and Ellis Dackombe busked at Nunney Fayre.
Mells Community Choir and Nunney residents Ellis Dacombe and Neil Murphy took the opportunity to perform on the acoustic stage.

The village hall hosted an arts and crafts market and All Saints Church did a roaring trade selling books, cakes, raffle tickets and other items. In the evening The George at Nunney hosted an after-party.

Biggest fundraiser

Nunney Street Market & Fayre is organised for Nunney Community Association by the Nunney Fayre secretary, a post that for the past six years has been filled by Jeremy Gaunt with marketing support from Visit Nunney.

Jeremy now advises and produces country fairs, Christmas markets and other events as far from Nunney as Staffordshire.

Nunney FayreHe said: “Nunney Street Market & Fayre is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Nunney Community Association and other groups in the village. It benefits local community projects, such as the BMX track and the children’s playground.”

“Every year I get asked why we ask people to pay £5 to park their car; that’s very simple: that money covers the music, insurance, licenses, equipment and everything else, with any profits going towards community projects through the community association, a registered charity.”

“I am delighted that we such splendid weather this year and that many thousands seem to have had a great day out. I have very much enjoyed organising Nunney Fayre for the last few years and I wish the next Nunney Fayre secretary all the very best.”

Next year’s Nunney Street Market & Fayre will be held on Saturday 5 August.