A FAIR, reputedly mentioned in the Magna Carta, kept tradition alive in Saddleworth on Maundy Thursday.
Stallholders were out in force at Road End, Greenfield for the annual market which has been a feature of village life for centuries.
Legend has it the Magna Carta of 1215 decrees at least one stall must open on Maundy Thursday every year.
If not, the privilege provided by Magna Carta would cease and an Act of Parliament would be required to re-start what was originally known as a ‘chartered pot fair’.
There have been times when the gathering at the junction of Chew Valley Road and Kinders Lane has come close to extinction.
But while not as busy as in its heyday, Road End Fair is still part of the Easter tradition in Greenfield.
Hannah Savage from Body Shop at Home attended the Fair for the first time while Betty Tomlinson, raising funds and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support, was one of the early birds as commuters headed to work and children enjoyed a last day at school before the Easter holidays.
Ewa Hartland travelled from Diggle to set up a stall for the Kinamba Community Project feeding programme based in Rwanda. For more information visit www.kinambarproject.org.uk
Jo Castle from Greenfield used the Road End Fair to raise money for improvements at hospitals for stillborn babies.
“Most of the rooms are very stark,” she explained.
“We have raised money for Wythenshawe Hospital and are now doing the same for other hospitals.”
Fiona Mowat’s good cause was to improve the lives of battery hens through her involvement with the British Hen Welfare Trust.
“When the hens are 12-18 months old they are usually slaughtered,” said Fiona. “The Welfare Trust rescue them and try to re-home them, mainly as pets.
“They carry on laying eggs at slower rate but they are much happier and live longer lives.”
The lades from St Mary’s Church, Greenfield were also in attendance as one of the mainstays of the historic event.
While the sun shone on stallholders, they were still grateful for the free tea and coffees provided by Tony and Donna from the King William IV pub.