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Disappointment as Shropshire town's Michaelmas Fair cancelled at short notice

A big weekend event in south Shropshire has been cancelled at short notice.

This year's event has been cancelled at short notice
This year's event has been cancelled at short notice

The organisers of this weekend's Michaelmas Fair in Bishop's Castle say they have not taken the decision lightly but some crucial elements of the event have been affected by the current period of national mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.

Huge disappointment has been expressed on the event's Facebook page.

One commenter wrote: "Whilst important to be respectful to the Queen it’s equally important to be respectful to the small businesses of Bishops Castle, who by now will have likely incurred costs in preparation and are surely in need of the boost that the Michaelmas Fair would have given them more than ever before."

Another person received support when she said: "Utterly ridiculous. Ask the people of Bishops Castle if they want it cancelled I bet the majority won't."

Another critic added that even though she was disappointed she wants to add – "thank you to those who have been working hard on organising the fair."

But another commenter said they had already paid £700 on coming to Bishop's Castle for the weekend, which they can't get a refund for.

In a statement the organisers said that they had taken the decision after consulting with the town council, church and community.

"After careful consideration and as mark and love and respect for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The Michaelmas Fair will not go ahead this year.

"This decision to cancel at this very late stage has not been taken lightly- some crucial elements of the fair have been affected due to the current period of national mourning. The Fair is a community event and can’t go ahead without the support of the full community."

The spokesman said a huge amount of time and care had gone into the organisation of the Fair this year with a new committee and added "we know the effects of cancelling will be felt".

A lantern procession will be reorganised for later in the autumn.

The Michaelmas Fair was first set up in 1995 by a small group of local people after the Steam Fair relocated from Bishop's Castle to Shrewsbury.

The Steam Fair was always held on August Bank Holiday so it was decided to hold this new event in mid September. Traditionally the Michaelmas Fair was at the end of the harvest when farm workers were looking for their next contract and rents had to be paid.

The event is run by a small volunteer committee who meet throughout the year plus another 60 local people who help on the day.

Attempts to contact the event organisers have been made by the Shropshire Star.

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