Downton Cuckoo Fair 2012

Princess Rebekah Gaham with attendants Hatty and Livvy Knight

Princess Rebekah Gaham with attendants Hatty and Livvy Knight

The annual Downton Cuckoo Fair was held on 5th May 2012.

Starting with the crowning of the Princess, Rebekah Gaham at The white Horse Pub, she and her attendants Hatty and Livvy Knight travelled by horse and carriage to The Bull where the procession was amassing.

Led by the The Downton Brass Band and The Downton Cuckoo Fair banner, the procession moved from The Bull, down The Borough, to the maypole where the princess and her attendants watched dancers from the Forest School of Dance.

Despite cold, grey weather, thousands turned out for the event to watch the entertainment and visit the many craft and food stalls lining the street.

Downton Cuckoo Fair has been running since 1980 in its current format but there are records showing that the original fair was first held in 1249. The tradition of having a Princess dates from the fair revival.

Traditionally, the arrival of the cuckoo marked the onset of good weather and the village tradition of “opening the gate” to let the cuckoo through is the basis of the fair.

View photos from Downton Cuckoo Fair 2012