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Annual Reach fair in Cambridgeshire draws the crowds

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Reach Fair 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell
Reach Fair 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell

Centuries of tradition were once again honoured at the annual Fair – as was the more recent tradition of the mass cycle ride to the event from Cambridge.

In 1201, King John granted a charter for the holding of a fair in Reach and it has taken place ever since.

Keeping with the custom, the fair was opened on Monday (May 6) by the mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Geri Bird, accompanied by the aldermen in full regalia, throwing pennies to visitors in the crowd at midday.

Prior to that, hundreds of cyclists joined Camcycle for its 13th bank holiday ride to Reach.

The ride attracts a large and diverse range of cyclists for the 14.5 mile trip to the village.

Attractions at this year’s fair included maypole dancing by Swaffham Prior School, live music from The Lost Hobos and The Numbers, among others, a dance competition and JezO’s Magic Show.

David Parr, one of the four-strong organising team, said: “The turnout was very good indeed, bearing in mind the weather. It was heaving last year – the car park was full – and this year we got to about 90 per cent full.”

Camcycle said nearly 1,000 people took part in the ride to Reach, with residents from Chesterton, Fulbourn and Ely meeting the main procession from Cambridge.

A spokesperson said: “We were delighted to have another successful ride with lots of families joining the fun. The weather stayed fine and we had fewer punctures than in previous years.

"We’re extremely grateful to all the volunteers who worked hard to make the event so enjoyable and to the mechanics from Outspoken Cycles for keeping everyone cycling and happy.”

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