Sunday, 19 June 2011

appleby horse fair - a town under seige

Appleby horse fair has been going on since year dot and they gather once a year here to trade horses and get together to renew friendships
yep - that's the gist of it
unfortunately the reality is much different
over the last 10 maybe more years it has grown out of all control and been taken over by trouble makers and hangers on
you would think i would be against all of it but i am not - this is because i just think it needs to be better organised
the proper gypsies are not the trouble makers as i believe the trouble comes in the cars and vans - not the caravans
no one is actually responsible for the fair and no one wants that responsibility either - this is because it is a nightmare to control and on paper it does not make any sense at all
the gypsies allways say that the town benefits from the fair and makes money out of it - this is true for only the few businesses that trade during the fair and yes they do make lots of money
the rest of the town ie joe public do not gain anything from the fair just massive inconvienience and hassle
this is where the problem lies - we are effectively under seige for the duration of the fair and cannot even use the facilities in our own town due to how ridiculously busy it is
we do tend to plan ahead and stock up so we dont have to go down town as you will find very few locals bother to go to the fair as we just find it a hassle that just needs to be tolerated yearly
we allways pray for rain the week after as it helps with trying to get the roads clean again - just imagine several hundred horses running up and down your street for a week and imagine the rest -
dont get me wrong the local agencies work wonders on the clean up operation and within a few days all the rubbish is picked up and the place begins to look more normal again but it usually takes until next year for the grass and the roadsides to recover
all this has to be paid for of course and this is where we allways get a nasty taste - we have one of the highest council taxes in the county and what for - to look after something that we have very little to do with and does not benefit the majority of us at all
what needs to be done is a back to basics with the fair and make it more organised and properly run to discourage the hangers on and trouble makers and make it more about the horse trading and the traditional gypsy way of life
i know this would make it more 'touristy' and would serve to make money out of it but it does need to be self sufficient and look after itself so it is not a burden on the local area
the proper gypsies are a proud people and the vast majority are good people - they should take this oppertunity to improve their own PR and begin to show themselves as the noble and honerable people that they claim to be
there is nothing finer than to see the horses pulling the fancy caravans into town and i must admit i respect the hard work and skill that has gone into them
the problem is the reality is different as most of the traffic is transit vans pulling modern caravans followed by boy and girl racers with no respect for the local area

the point is - we understand why it happens - it probably should continue to happen - but it needs to change - if not just for its own good then for the good of all involved and all it affects

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