Local author Tony Raper has published his latest book, a history of the Weyhill Fair.
The fascinating 200-page book ‘The Ancient and Famous Weyhill Fair’ was launched yesterday (12th September) at the Weyhill Fair pub.
The date of the first Weyhill Fair may never be known, but the earliest record of what was the ‘largest and greatest’ fair in England is from the 13th Century. On one occasion, the week-long Weyhill Fair is said to have offered 500,000 sheep for sale.
The book is packed full of carefully researched information and old photographs and images. Mr Raper says, “Today most motorists pass Weyhill by without giving it a second glance, but there was a time when it was a Mecca, where the crowds were so thick, it was said you could ‘walk on their heads'”.
Mr Raper moved from London to Andover in 1973, having shunned the soul-less concrete town of Basingstoke in favour of the more appealing Andover. With a lifelong interest in history, he has written books which include ‘Andover Past’ (now out of print), ‘A History of Stockbridge Racecourse’ and ‘Andover – The Civil War and Interregnum’. This latest book expands on his previous publication, ‘Weyhill Fair – the greatest fair in the Kingdom’ which sold out within 10 months and is now a collector’s book.
Published by his own company Weydon Press, Mr Raper’s newest book details Andover’s attempt to profit from the Fair, its appearance on celluloid and strange tales of ghostly apparitions.
The Ancient and Famous Weyhill Fair is available for £12.00 at Waterstones, Andover Museum and online at the Weydon Press website.