2012 May Fairs

Preparations for the Fair, 2012

Ah yes, that was the year of the Golden Jubilee, wasn’t it? Sixty years of the reign of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and of course, the Allen Valley Drama Group were not going to let such an opportunity pass by without comment.

So their big presentation, Saturday evening of the big Fair Day (itself only one day out of the four day weekend fest), was to be ’60 Years of Allendale’. The show promised to be so great they had to put it on twice!

As Margaret Stonehouse had mentioned at our Business Meeting beginning of April, things were indeed well in hand for the festivities. I also remember a big cake, created by Carrie at Allendale Bakery, in the shape and decoration of a huge royal postage stamp, which was cut and distributed to everyone in the square at some point. No doubt the baking effort started shortly after the appearance of this full-page advertising feature in the Hexham Courant.

The Courant did try to be beneficent towards Allendale, featuring salient images from previous fairs with a nod towards the coming event. Of course, the full page was paid for by all the enterprises advertising their wares and services, but the space for publicity, the column inches within the page, was always golden.

How much we depended on the local paper, and how eager we were to see what was news, every Thursday late afternoon, so that some of us were there at the MarketPlace waiting for the delivery of the wrapped parcels, the bundles of some 600 papers (can you believe it!) and the kind opening of the first one by Elsie.

Those days were magical, really, and it’s not just me who fondly remembers them, I’m sure. As immediate and in-your-face as the social media of 2023 is (the perspective from which I’m writing), it feels like there’s something missing today that we had in abundance, if we only recognised it, back in the day.

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