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Rowdy’ church fayre is back—after 200 years

PUBLISHED: 10:38 02 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 05 October 2010

CHURCH leaders are reviving an ancient summer fayre in London’s East End which had a rowdy reputation for binge drinking. But they’re hoping the yobs won’t be returning—after nearly 200 years

By Mike Brooke

CHURCH leaders are reviving an ancient summer fayre in London’s East End which had a rowdy reputation for binge drinking 200 years ago.

But they’re hoping the yobs won’t be returning when the ancient Bow Fayre is brought back at Bow Church on the traditional date of the fair on Saturday (June 6).

The original fair was held annually for about 300 years until 1823, when it was finally scrapped after gaining a reputation for drunkenness and rowdy behaviour.

TRADITIONAL STALLS

“The church hopes that won’t be part of the revival,” said the Rector of St Mary’s-at-Bow, The Rev Michael Peet.

“We’re going to have traditional stalls and games and a good spread of home made cakes.

“I hope the Bow Fayre could become a real community event—but more sober than the original.”

Other East End churches and local history groups have stalls at the three-hour fair starting at 2pm, when visitors get a chance to look round the 700-year-old church that has stood in the middle of Bow Road since the 14th century.

It will also be in the middle of the world spotlight, on the green route’ to the 2012 Olympics just a mile-and-a-half down the road.


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