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Appleby also home to the Laidlow family Andy is the best F1 and f2 sidecar racer to come out of this lovely town . He needs your support. this family have given everything they own to race with the best in the world they have three gorgeous children and hopes to carry on flying the flag for Appleby .And the horse fair is fab go on then you know you want to see both .Team"Past it"
Appleby Horse Fair 2006
My friend & i decided to visit the fair instead of a weekend at Bramham horse trials,so tent in car we rolled into Appleby early saturday, it was chaos with cars pedestrians & horses everywhere. We managed to wind our way up to Gallows hill the main location of the fair & £5 on the gate & we were on the campsite with all & sundry but absolutely no facilities. We found a spot on the sloping field & set to with the tent within minutes an audience of gypsies had gathered 'who were these 2 girls setting up' cheeky banter & humourous quips we soon had them putting up the tent for us. All valubles locked in the car we set off into town on foot, it really was mayhem certainly not for the faint hearted, loose horses, wild children , hi-speed traps raced up & down the 1m drag from town to fair you really could not imagine you would have to experience it kids hung off the back of vans & trailers hitching a ride, a loose cob tried to jump a mercedes car actually sliding across the boot lid, young men racing trotters through crowds you really do have to be very careful. Good weather had followed us ensuring the river was full of horses & folk, the pubs were limiting entrants due to overcrowding the whole place was 'buzzing'. The Fair itself on gallows hill is a mass of stalls & pedlars selling all sorts including ample food vans. The mayhem receded by 8pm to a busy evening where the smell of camp fires/bbq's & loud music surrounded the campsite this carried on well into the early hours still riding ponies round the tents like a slalom course all in good fun by 4am all was quiet. Sunday morning stroll into town was an indication of what had gone before knee deep in litter & broken glass & blearey eyed people clammered the few outlets for breakfast. As sunday went on it was rising to fever pitch again by lunch time it seemed even busier.
Appleby is well worth a visit if you don't mind roughing it a lot, there is NO form of organisation so be vigilant at all times, people there are friendly & theres never a dull moment.
Appleby-in-Westmorland is a very small Cumbrian town. It has the 'in-Westmorland' bit tacked onto it's name because when the county boundaries changed, Westmorland ceased to be. The people of Appleby didn't want to be in Cumbria (then called Cumberland), so they adjusted their town name accordingly. This small country town come to life every year early in June. This is when the biggest gathering of gypsies in Britain takes place at the Horse Fair.. In earlier years more than a thousand gypsy families arrived in their brightly coulored caravans for the fair. They clustered round Gallows Hill just outside the town. There was a lot of dancing and music and it was a real festive occasion. The fair was given a royal charter in 1685 by James 11 and is still a major occasion. Large crowds arrive for the fair and join in the general gaity. Horses are watered in the nearby River Eden near the town bridge and all the colour and sparkle of traditional gypsy life is there to watch. The horses are put through their paces and sold here and there is stiff competition in the trotting races in the town. What starts of as friendly competition often develops in a drinking spree in celebration of a win. Then there is the obligatory 'punch up'. Everybody is friends again next day and when the fair is over they all go back to their own parts of the country to wait for the next chance to 'win'. This all sound very romantic and picturesque but it does have another side. The horse fair brings lots of drunkeness, and the crime rate sores in the town. It is mostly petty theft and disorder offences. They always have to draft extra police in. So, if you are up for a little horse play, too much booze and a good punch up, this is the place to go. Mark in your diary for early June but better get some fighting practise in before you go!