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Thread: Egremont Crab Fair

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)

    Egremont Crab Fair

    Anybody fancy visiting Cumbria next week?

    It is time for our local festival again, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th September this year.

    Egremont Crab Fair is an ancient festival established by royal charter in 1267.
    It is believed to be one of the oldest continuously held (with breaks during the wars) fairs in the world.

    The name has nothing to do with seafood but refers to crab apples which were distributed to the poor of the village after the harvest.

    It's probably best known these days for the World Gurning Championships where people pull faces through a Braffin (horse collar).
    You have probably seen this on TV, it is often countryfile and the presenter, Michalea Strachan, won the ladies event a few years ago.

    Events in town go on all week, but the main events this year are on Fri 18th and Sat 19th September.

    On the weekend the town centre is closed to traffic for a free concert on Friday night, with events and parades on Saturday.
    This years headline act on Friday will be Katrina Leskanich. (Remember Katrina and the Waves?).

    There are the usual plethora of stalls, rides, etc. lining the square and main street.
    Also in the town centre is a funfair, just follow the noise and lights.

    On Saturday they are events on the town centre stages in the morning, and of course the apple cart and parade.
    In the afternoon the action moves up the road towards St.Bees to a large field where there are the show tents, flowers, cakes, vegatables, you know the sort of thing.
    Also on the field are the sporting and equestrian events; ever watched Cumberland wrestling or maybe ferret racing?
    Note that there is usually a charge to enter the field.

    Find more information on faceache:

    How to get here:
    We are in the 'top left' corner of Cumbria so well away from the motorway network.
    Egremont is on the A595 about 4 miles south of Whitehaven and about 40 miles north of Barrow in Furness.

    Nearest train station is St.Bees, but if using public transport it is better to get the train to Whitehaven and then the No.30 Stagecoach bus to Egremont,
    runs every 30 mins and every 15 mins at peak times. All buses are hydraulicaly lowered for wheelchair/scooter access.
    It can be a bit of a drag from the station to the nearest bus stop outside the Shipwrights arms; it's about 200m with a few uneven pavements.
    There other services and operators between Whitehaven and Egremont but these tend to go 'around the houses' and may not be as accessable.

    For a satnav postcode use CA22 2AE, thats the main market square.

    Accessible toilet facilities will be available on the main market square at The De Lucy Centre.
    This is above the Age UK Shop and has a wheelchair accessible lift to take you up to the cafe where the facilities are.
    They also have IT facilities if you want to get online whilst you are here.
    Easy to find, its on the main square near the war memorial, just ask anybody in town and they will point you there.

    General accessability.

    First to point out that this is a very popular event and there will be large crowds, especialy for the Friday night concert in the Market Place.
    Local people are very helpful, as you usually find in small towns, and you can expect them to lend a hand where needed.

    The field events.
    Well its in a field, the field is fairly level as it needs to be for sports.
    If the weather has been dry it will be firm if a bit bumpy in places, if its been raining then expect mud.
    As an aside it rains less here on the coastal plain than it does in Manchester, I know I have lived in both.

    The town centre events.
    Market Place and Main St where the events are staged are flat, level, and have very wide pavements.
    Kerbs to cross the main road are typically 2-1/2 inches but there are quite a few dropped curbs. I know a few scooter users who have no problem getting around town on their own.
    The town hall where the Gurning and other indoor events are held is wheelchair accessable, as are the larger stores in town.

    The smaller shops and the pubs are more problematic.
    Most of the buildings around the Market place were built between 1600 and 1630, wheelchair ramps were not a priority then and its hard to get planning permission to alter anything on the building frontages. Although quite a few of the shops have no, or very low, steps.

    As far as the pubs go, if you are using a chair or scooter and fancy a beer then I'm afraid the best option is to ask a friend to bring one outside for you. The local bylaws are overlooked by the police to allow drinking on the street during the fair weekend; (it's either that or arrest 3/4 of the town).
    The pubs get really busy and at peak times it can be like a rugby scrum at the bar.
    If you are determined or if you visit our town when its less busy I can give the following about the main pubs that are currently open in the town centre.
    The Wheatsheaf:
    3 high steps up at the front, possible to get access through a courtyard entrance but this is normally closed and locked. Inside the pub has a step right across the middle of the bar area dividing front and rear.
    The Black Bull:
    3 high steps up at the front, no other entrance.
    The Blue Bell:
    Flight of 3 steps inside the front entrance, level access through the rear beer garden but this is a 400/500 meter detour from the front door to the beer garden at the rear. (P.S. this is regularly used by two wheelchair using friends).
    The Kings Arms:
    Wheelchair accessable though the front door but a bit of an awkward tight turn in the entrance. Doesn't deter local wheelchair users.
    British Legion:
    Large flight of steps inside front entrance, access ramp at side entrance, but approached over a 5 meter stretch of gravel.
    Conservative Club:
    Single step at main entrance, wheelchair access through side entrance, (may have to ask for it to be opened).
    There are other pubs/clubs but these are further out of the town centre.

    Just to add that for some reason Faceache seems to think Egremont is in Dumfries and Galloway, it's not it's in North West Cumbria.

    If any one fancies coming up then give me a shout and we can meet up.
    Last edited by nukecad; 22-01-16 at 14:53.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Here we go again.

    The main stage has just fired up, windows will be rattling till midnight.
    Maybe not as noisy as usual because they have set the stage at an angle (to my house).

    Next year will be the 750'th anniversary of the fair, it's now officially recognised as the oldest continously held fair in the world.

    It's bright sunshine here and forecast to stay llike this.
    We have missed all the storms.
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-09-16 at 14:59.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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