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Photo by Elmira Zadissa, 2017

Midsummer Market and Fair

One of the oldest fairs in England

The Midsummer Market and Fair dates back to a charter granted by King John in 1211 and is one of the oldest fairs in England. Irish Travellers and Romany Gypsy communities have travelled to and traded at the fair for hundreds of years. Jean O’Brien and Eileen O’Brien are two young sisters whose family members have traded at the fair.

In these clips, Jean interviews her younger sister about the Midsummer Fair. What does she do, hear and see at the fair?

Oblique Arts has over the past year been working with the project “Oral Histories: Roma & Traveller Communities in Cambridgeshire”. Focusing on Traveller fairs, which have existed for centuries, we are collecting stories about families, trading at the fairs, travelling between fairs and the nature of changing experiences. The project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more stories visit


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