New sheep fair spectacle brings crowds to Swaffham
Organisers of Swaffham's revived sheep fair have hailed the initial event a spectacular success.
The fair, held in the Market Place on Saturday, revived the town's past tradition of sheep fairs, which were held there until 1942.
Money raised from a mock charity sheep auction will be split between eight local charities, with Nelson's Joruney, The Merle Body Centre, The Royal British Legion, Myers Field Trust, The Rare Breed Survival Trust, The Magpie Riding Centre for the disabled, The East of England Air Ambulance and Swaffham Young Farmers.
Town mayor Colin Houghton said: "It was a great weekend, I'm delighted with how it went and how everyone has said they enjoyed it.
"It's great to have events like this which put Swaffham on the map."
The event was supported by the Rare Breed Survival Trust and Swaffham's county councillor Ed Colman said it was important that different types of meat were promoted.
"It's really important we understand that there is not just one type of lamb, beef and pork; all the different breeds have different flavours and textures and this weekend was about showcasing that meat that people don't always think about," he said.
"The local butchers, and local restaurants were brilliant. They bought into what we were doing and offered a range of native breed meat throughout the weekend.
"By raising awareness we are helping to prevent those rare breeds being lost and that's something we can all be proud of."
Fellow county councillor Fabian Eagle, who serves as auctioneer for the town's regular poultry markets and conducted the day's charity auction, said attention has already turned to next year.
"We are really pleased with how the first year went and we are all confident of making this bigger and better going forward.
"Nearly every business in the market place got behind the event, not just those that could see the immediate benefit such as butchers and restaurants but also those shops that promote a vegan lifestyle as they could see that it was a community effort to increase footfall into the town.
"Both Ed and I were happy to support this financially and we have shown that you can achieve goals for your communities with limited funds if those funds are used wisely."
The Town Council also organised a window display competition which was won by Starlings.