Eden Valley

Jun 14, 2023  •  Community Involvement

Assist in Big Clean Up

Eden Valley YFC members assisted local farmer Jimmy Winter on what so far has been the hottest day of the year, with members litter picking on Hanging Shaw Fields.  This is the location for the Appleby Show Dance put on by Eden Valley YFC after Appleby Show in August.  The field is used every June by market stall holders selling a variety of goods - some traditional to the Gypsy Travelling Community and the general public at the famous Appleby Horse Fair. 

Appleby Horse Fair, also known as Appleby New Fair, is "an annual gathering of Gypsies and Travellers in the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland”.  The horse fair is held each year in early June, attracting roughly 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers, about 1,000 caravans, several hundred horse-drawn vehicles, and about 30,000 visitors.   The Gypsy and Traveller attendees include British Romanichal, Irish Travellers, Scottish Gypsy and Traveller groups, Kale (Welsh Romanies) and more.

The Fair is billed as the biggest traditional Gypsy Fair in Europe and is commonly likened to a large family gathering. The horses are washed in the River Eden and trotted up and down the 'flashing lane' most main days. 

The fair is held on the outside of the town of Appleby, where the Roman Road crosses Long Marton Road, not far from Gallows Hill, named after the public hangings that were once carried out there. In the mid-20th century, the story developed that the fair originated with a royal charter to the borough of Appleby from King James II of England in 1685. However, recent research has shown that the 1685 charter, which was cancelled before it was enrolled, is of no relevance.

Appleby's medieval borough fair, held at Whitsuntide, ceased in 1885. The 'New Fair', held in early June on Gallows Hill, which was then unenclosed land outside the borough boundary, began in 1775 for sheep and cattle drovers and horse dealers to sell their stock; by the 1900s it had evolved into a major Gypsy/Traveller occasion. Throughout the Fair's history, no group claimed ownership of the Fair or was charged to attend it, staying to one of the Fair's principles of being a people's fair.

So, as you can imagine, with all these people in attendance, there’s an awful amount of rubbish to collect.  As Jimmy kindly lets the young farmers hold their dance on his field, members thought it was only right to show their gratitude by helping to assist in the pain staking process of litter picking and returning the field to its former status.  

Eden Valley