SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY

Strawberry Fair since its inception in the early 1970s, or its revival as some put forward, has become a fixture of the Cambridge city calendar taking place on the first Saturday of June.  Held on Midsummer Common in the heart of the city, it is Britain's largest free one day festival, some saying it is an echo of the Stourbridge Common Fair.

 

Originally granted its dispensation by King John in 1199 Stourbridge Common Fair grew to become the largest fair in Europe drawing in vendors from all over the known world.  Visited by Daniel Defoe, he wrote "this fair, which is not only the greatest in the whole nation, but in the world; nor, if I may believe those who have seen them all, is the fair at Leipzig in Saxony, the mart at Frankfort-on-the-Main, or the fairs at Nuremberg, or Augsburg, any way to compare to this fair at Stourbridge."

 

To the majority of attendees, Strawberry Fair happens on the day only.  They show up, spend the day and then go home.  But, as a past committee member, I know that organising starts in early Autumn, with set up taking a full week and then afterwards returning the common to the council in pristine condition.  I felt it important to include this as part of the photography.  In addition, I wanted to show that it is Town, not Gown, and in the city centre.