THE largest travelling Funfair in the south-west is once more rolling onto Bridgwater's St. Matthews Field on its annual September visit to the town.
This annual event which dates back to the Charter of King John is now almost 800 years old, the last 600 years of which have been spent on St Matthews Field.
The Charter decreed that the event was to be held on the last Wednesday in September and therefore this year the fair and West Street stalls will be opening to the public on Wednesday, 24th September, and running until Saturday, September 27th.
There will still be the additional one-day horse fair and Fair Field market taking place on Wednesday, 24th September.
The Showman's Guild organises the rides on St Matthew's Field (known as the Fair Field). The Funfair consists of some 30 main rides including old favourites such as Froggit, Miami Trip and Orbiter, together with some 15 children's rides and approximately 50 hoopla and side stalls.
In addition to the Showman's Guild a small but dedicated team at Sedgemoor District Council works behind the scenes to help stage the Fair. Sedgemoor District Council organises, takes bookings and sets out the four-day street market in West Street, which includes over 100 stalls selling everything from annual flower bulbs through to the famed welsh cakes.
Sedgemoor District Council also organises and takes bookings for the 100 stall one-day horse fair and Fair Field market taking place on Wednesday, 24th September.
Sedgemoor's dog wardens will also be on hand to stop any illegal selling of puppies and other pets.
Only horses and ponies are legally for sale on the one-day Fair Field horse fair and market. Members of the public are asked not to buy puppies, rabbits or other small pets which may be offered for sale and to report any concerns to Sedgemoor staff immediately.
Sedgemoor District Council will also have their ‘on the road’ information stand in West Street on Wednesday 24th between 11am and 7pm. This will include an opportunity to have your say on the budget for 2015/2016.
Sedgemoor District Council also provides the public conveniences for the event along with checking the many food stalls, completing Health and Safety checks, provision of skips for waste; having staff on duty as contact points, as well as cleaning and sweeping-up after the fair is over. We take pride in making sure the Fair Field is quickly returned to its usual excellent condition so that residents can enjoy it for the rest of the year.
Opening and closing times for the Fair are 11am to 11pm, Wednesday, 1pm to 11pm on Thursday, 1pm to 11.30pm on Friday and 11am to 11pm on Saturday. Residents and visitors to the area are reminded that West Street and adjoining roads will be closed from 9am on Tuesday, 23rd September, and will re-open on Sunday, 28th September.
Diversion routes will be signposted.
As in previous years limited parking will be available Thursday to Saturday with the Rotary Club of Bridgwater in the Fair Field. Other parking is available in town centre pay and display car parks.
Temporary toilets are provided adjacent to Westfield House and behind the Squib public house in West Street and also on St Matthews Field.
First Aid will again be provided by St John Ambulance who can found at the top of West Street opposite the entrance to St Matthews Field.
Visitors to the Fair should be aware that whilst we want everyone to have fun West Street, St Mathews Field and most of the surrounding area is covered by the Council's Designated Public Places Order (DPPO.) This is an Order designed to tackle nuisance caused through excessive drinking in public places. The Order gives the Police and PCSO's the power to confiscate alcohol within the DPPO area. These powers will be vigorously enforced and anybody bringing alcohol into West Street or St Matthews Field should expect to be challenged and may be required to surrender their alcohol. Only alcohol in plastic cups purchased from the hatch at the Horse and Jockey and consumed within the vicinity will be permitted.