The Great Annual Charter
Every year, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
hosts an Historic Open Air Event, in the centre of Neath, South
Wales. It attracts crowds from far a field and is recognised as the
fourth largest Chartered Street Trading Fair in the UK.
This annual event has been going on in the busy centre of Neath
for many hundreds of years and is a huge favourite with the
locals. The fair we know today with its stalls set up through
the streets and its vibrant Fairground rides are very
different to the original fairs of 700 years ago.
In 1280 the Lord of the Borough gave Neath its first Charter. As
Lord, he offered protection from thieves to the traders who came to
town. These fairs were the starting point for Neath as an
important commercial centre.
The Great September Fair was established in 1880 and was to
be held every year on the second Wednesday of the month. It became
important to Neath and its development because until a hundred
years ago, there were very few permanent shops as we know them
today. Most buying and selling was from temporary stalls by local
Traders from the UK and recently Europe, have been attending
this four day event, with products ranging from various
textiles, bulbs and plants, china and pottery and many more making
the total of up to 140 stalls, around the streets of Neath Town
Centre. Many of the shops will be open late to coincide with the
Fair, giving people a chance to browse.
Alongside the Street Fair is one of South Wales' largest
travelling Fun Fairs, held in the Town Centre car park. The Fun
Fair is run by the 'Showman's Guild of Great
Britain' and creates a unique atmosphere within the
Originally the Fun Fair took the form of such things as
Strong-Man displays, novelty mirror booths, or boxing challenges
where the locals would try to last a round with a time hardened
expert boxer. Now it has developed into the high speed mechanical
rides we have today.
Last Updated: 19.10.2011 at 12:11