A new High Street event captured the imaginations of people in Andover today with a thoroughly historical feel.
The Shilling Fair, thought to be the only one of its kind in the UK, was obviously successful in increasing shoppers’ dwell time in the town centre, to the benefit of local businesses.
Donkey rides, historical talks and a wide range of food and craft exhibitors added to a sense of pride in the often maligned High Street.
Test Valley Mayoress Maria Neal said, “This is really wonderful. I’m happy to see its success. Many of the temporary traders have already said they want to come back to Andover.
“When everybody in Andover works together, this event really shows what we can achieve”.
The event was organised by town councillor Barbara Long and supported by Test Valley Borough Council’s Andover Vision.
A team of ‘Admirable Admirals’ paraded the High Street, dressed as amusingly offensive French matelots, playing “We Are Sailing” through boatswain’s whistles.
Visitor Ingrid Allso added, “It’s great to see Andover so vibrant on a Sunday in August. This amazing high street is exactly the location for this sort of event.”
Co-organiser Jenny Artherton from Fuse Projects says, “This is a great town with so much opportunity. Is unusual to see business, community organisations and the local authority working so closely together to the benefit of local people”.
Heritage trails presented by hosts dressed in traditional Georgian garb gave historical talks about the town being read the riot act outside the Angel Inn.