THE VERY BEGINNING
Medieval fairs were traditionally held in the months of May, June and July for buyers and sellers of a wide variety of wares. They were usually promoted by eminent local families or religious houses. The Lincolnshire village of Castle Bytham was granted one of the earliest Royal Charters to hold a Fair, given to Robert de Colvile by King Henry III in 1247. Unfortunately, when the last of the de Colvile family died in 1369, the new Lord of the Manor, Ralph Basset, decided to discontinue the annual event.
THE MODERN FAIR
In 1993 a committee of people from the village formed to resurrect the Fair as a means of raising funds for the parish church and village hall. They chose the nearest weekend to midsummer as the best time to hold it. For many years it took place only on a Sunday but it has grown in size and popularity and now takes place over two days. A lot of money has been raised over the years to support not only the maintenance of the church and hall but also local Scouts and Guides, children’s play areas, a defibrillator, the local free paper, local school, the setting up of a community shop, and additional funding for the organisers of Christmas parties for the over-60s and children, in Castle Bytham and surrounding villages.
THE BIRTH OF THE FESTIVAL
The Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival has grown to now include a 5k Chase, Open Village, Garage Sale, Antique and Vintage Fair on the Saturday, with the traditional delights of a village fete on the Sunday, including: children’s entertainment, dog show, duck race, tombola, cream teas and street market stalls.
Both days have a lively and entertaining mix of music, that showcase great bands and local talent.
Other highlights are:
Bar, Gin Hut, BBQ, Veggie tent, home-made food in the village hall and even more refreshments in the two village pubs. An event not to be missed!