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Crafts, food, drink and reenactment in Cambridge Town & Country Fair mix





“The first seriously hot weekend of summer saw thousands come to Cambridge for the Town and Country Fair, the annual two-day celebration of all things rural, craft-inspired, and oftentimes a little unusual.

How else can you explain a train engine which has been converted to a barbecue? Or the 15 or so birds sitting on their perches having staring matches with passing visitors.

Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell

There were plenty of unusual sights, with historical reenactment groups throwing some scenes from previous era into the mix - and alongside this were lots of traders and craftspeople showcasing some delightful jewellery, cushions covers, candles, clothes, hats, food, drinks, and other gifts and accessories.

Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell

Stallholders from Cambridge Open Studios, Cambridgeshire Craft Emporium, Field of Cheese, Friends of the Painted Church, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Woodland Trust were on hand to chat and explain what they do.

Parker’s Piece was buzzing on a very hot day.

Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell

Parked up on the corner near Borsch to Go was a reenactment group with four horses, and I asked Jo, who came from St Neots to represent the ladies of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, how old their outfits were.

Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell

“The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry started in 1907,” sayssaid. “Then it became the Special Operations Executive in WW2, when it was female spies operating behind enemy lines.

“Then it became the Princess Royal Volunteer Corps - Princess Anne became commandant-in-chief in 1981. It’s based in London.”

Looking after the horses is James, also from St Neots, who is representing the Scottish Horse yeomanry squadron.

“I’m dressed in the WW1 uniform of the Scottish yeomanry,” says James. “The unit goes back to the Boer War. We’re here to do a display in the main arena at 2pm.”

Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell

The two horses doing the display are Hamish, a Highland pony, and Romeo, a Dutch Warmblood.

“Romeo is 25 now and has had quite a life,” says James.

“He is a carriage horse. You’ll have seen him as part of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery pulling a gun carriage.”

Town & Country Show on Parker's Piece, June 11, 2023. Picture: Mike Scialom
Town & Country Show on Parker's Piece, June 11, 2023. Picture: Mike Scialom

Romeo was retired when the officer who rode him retired.

In 2012, he became quite famous as part of a 20-horse team who rode from Land’s End to John O’Groats as part of a Horses 4 Heroes fundraiser.”

Gaby Reniero of Bubbly Bandits with son Liam at the Town & Country Show on Parker's Piece. Picture: Mike Scialom
Gaby Reniero of Bubbly Bandits with son Liam at the Town & Country Show on Parker's Piece. Picture: Mike Scialom

The two horses performed their duties in the main arena magnificently.

Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Town & Country Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell

The Cambridge Town and Country Fair, which ran over Saturday and Sunday, had 200 stalls in total.

For more coverage and exclusive pictures, don’t miss this week’s Cambridge Independent, out from Wednesday.



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