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'Rebel' businesses put together a full day of events to replace town's cancelled Michaelmas Fair

Businesses in Bishop's Castle have joined forces to organise a big day of events to replace the town's Michaelmas Fair.

Michaelmas Fair in Bishops Castle.
Michaelmas Fair in Bishops Castle.

The Michaelmas Fair was called off on Monday but local businesspeople have got together to organise a full day programme of events starting at 9am on Saturday and going on for 12 hours.

They have even organised three farmer's fields to be put aside opposite the community college on the A488 for people to park and take the short walk into town. There is even a dial a ride service.

"We don't have any road closures in place so we want to make sure people park there to keep the High Street clear for vintage cars and steam engines," said Mrs Wendy Jones, of the Foxholes Castle Camping. Around 12 steam engines have been organised for the day.

"When I heard the decision on Monday I rebelled and said no, that's not happening," said Mrs Jones.

"I don't think it is fair to blame anyone for the decision - the committee was put on the spot by someone who made that decision."

She fired back at online critics of the committee for being "keyboard warriors" and urged others to get involved in organising events instead of criticising.

"We are born to live, not to criticise," she added.

A spokesman for Bishop's Castle Town Council had said that protocols prevent them from taking an active role in certain events during a period of national mourning.

The town council said the committee had been "rightly concerned at continuing the event without the endorsement and participation of the council and its councillors."

A two minute silence is being planned at 2pm on Saturday after which steam engines will toot out a tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.

Events include tombola and games at Castle Dog Groomers at 9am; tarot card readings and an owl and broomstick stall at Doll Me Up, residents' yard sales throughout town; a motorbike display at Castle Cars; an open day at the Weighbridge Museum; music, DJs and food at the Happy Bap.

Foxholes Campsite will be hosting a Hung Gar Kung Fu performance; there will be bands at the Three Tuns, the Six Bells and the Castle Hotel, and a brass band on Wintles Green from 2.15pm.

There won't be a lantern parade, the Michaelmas Fair committee says that will happen later in the year. Local schoolchildren had put a lot of work into creating their lanterns.

News of the day's events, put together in 36 hours, has been welcomed on social media.

The Foxholes Campsite Facebook page posted: "Thank you all again for your kind words and support.

One commenter said: "That's a lot of work - well done everyone for this! I hope it's a great day for you all and the two minute silence very thoughtful too."

"This was put together by a wealth of brilliant businesses and individuals.

"We would like to say a special thanks to; The local landlords and businesses, The Michaelmas Fair Committee and Enterprise house. Without whom the day would not be going ahead!"

"It's been a whirl-wind 36hours and we can't wait!

But there is still an amount of resentment about the committee's decision to cancel the original event.

One Facebook welcomed the events but had a dig at "self important bureaucrats"

They said: "Absolutely brilliant example of how community people power triumphs over inept and self important bureaucrats who tried to show their illusory authority. Fantastic work folks, and power to the people of BC!"

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