THE HISTORY OF THE FAIR
And who we are
The origins of the country fair go back nearly 40 years, with the very first show being held on the banks of the Wye, at Aramstone, Kings Caple, courtesy of Mr John Williams. John was chairman of the British Field Sports Society, which benefited from any profits generated in those early years. The event became larger and the local branch of the Game Conservancy joined the fray and for many years they ran the event together. New venues were found and the fair was held at a number of places throughout Herefordshire including; Whitfield Estate, Stretton Grandison Park, The Hommend Much Marcle , Hampton Court Castle, Eastnor Castle, Caradoc Estate and Allensmore.
The late 80’s and early 90’s were tremendously successful with gates of around 20,000. In common with other country and rural events, however, numbers started to drop off in the 90’s and there was a mini crisis in the foot and mouth years resulting in a restructuring of the organisation.
The Fair is now a company limited by guarantee and the ethos of the fair, although still deeply rooted in field sports, has grown to include many other facets of country life, becoming a show case for locally produced foods, crafts and business.
Herefordshire Country Fair (Community First) Fund
In 2013 the Country Fair elected to put surplus income into the Herefordshire Community Foundation, which is a Government-sponsored fund that distributes money to charitable causes in the county. Over the years money has been given to various charities in Herefordshire as and when a fair makes a profit, but the aims are now to build up a sum of money the investment of which will allow interest to be distributed to causes which are in essence county-based and with a benefit to the countryside.
The fund attracted match funding from the Government when it was set up and is earning interest from the original investment and we shall add to it as successive Country Fairs profit.
None of the committee members draws a salary, or even expenses. So all gate money and sponsorship will go to ensuring the Fair is able to add to their fund each year.
Julian Gallimore, Chairman
Patrick Darling, Site Director
Tom Grant, Countryside Information Area
June Savidge, Show Jumping
Jean Tidmarsh, Gundogs
Sue Probert, Whitfield Ring
Liz Morgans, Equestrian Show Classes
Doug Barrat, Presidents Tent
John Baly, Whitfield Ring
Colin Sinclair, Motor Village & Clay Shooting
Charles Probert, Food Hall & Shopping & Craft Marquee
Charles O’Connor, Sponsorship
Peter Jinman, OBE, BVetMed, DipArb, FCIArb MRCVS
Show Director Jayne Porchester