The Great Annual Charter

town crierEvery 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 farmers.

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. 

Fun Fair

Neath Fair 1903

 

 

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 Town.

 

 

Neath September Fair Ride

 

 

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.

 

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Last Updated: 19.10.2011 at 12:11

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