Langham Street Fayre
In the past, the
folk of the small inland village of Langham put on there
‘glad rags’ and panamas and hosted their biannual Street
Fayre. For those of you who might not have heard of the
village of Langham it’s a tiny hamlet located in an Area
of Outstanding Natural Beauty some three miles inland
from the Norfolk coast.
The village used to home the famed
attraction ‘Langham Glass’, but this has now relocated.
A working glass-blowing factory. When we visited many years ago
the sun was shining and the ice creams were melting and
there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
As always the event was well organised
with plenty of parking in a nearby fields just three
minutes walk from the village centre.
The petite village of Langham lends itself well to a street fayre having only one main street, which is closed for the event so that the attractions and displays can be housed on the road without the worry of traffic.
Inside the welcome cool interior of the church were yet more booths set amongst the pews and aisles. A good use of church space especially if the forecast has been for rain, though the people of Langham needn’t have worried as the sun shone brightly and the temperatures soared and the ice-cream sales went through the roof.
So it wasn’t long before I was seeking the cool
interior of the local village inn ‘The Bluebell’ for a
refreshing half glass of Norfolk beer and a chat.
The Bluebell is able to trace its ancestry back some
400 hundred years with a mention in a will dating from
the 1700’s. It’s the kind of Inn that every village
Made up of a number of interconnecting intimate rooms with a courtyard and a pretty enclosed garden.Here you will always be assured of a friendly welcome by the staff and also the locals who frequent this quaint watering hole.The publican with some pride informed me that they expected to raise even more money than was raised at their last Street Fayre in 2000.
Whilst sipping my beer I looked at the walls on The
Bluebell which are decked with RAF memorabilia
commemorating the RAF base that was located on the
outskirts of the village during the Second World War. I
had heard on my last visit to the Inn that the distant
echoes of that Second World War Airbase are said to
still resonate within the village. With sightings of the
ghosts of American Air force men who dissolve when
approach and the sound of an invisible aircraft crashing
amongst the trees. These hauntings are not surprising
when you look at the documentary evidence on the number
of fatal aircraft crashes in Norfolk and around this
area.An unfortunate legacy of war.
Refreshed and back outside I paused to watch a young
juggler assist a gaggle of eager faced children to spin
plates on sticks to the applause of parents and other
siblings. Debating whether he would accept a slightly
(only very slightly) older student, I heard a whirring
and a clicking behind me which announced the arrival of
a futuristic being and I must confess to giving a
It was none other than the Robotic man in a black tuxedo and a white deadpan face.I made way for his stilted gait only to inadvertently career into a pair of legs.
Wondering about the strength of the half pint of beer I had consumed in the Bluebell I craned my neck up to find a clown on stilts with balloons topping his top hat.Who told me to be careful and then advised me that he was only three and he had the badge to prove it.
For the traditionalists there were Punch and Judy. A timeless act, which is believed to have originated in Italy and whose first appearance in England, was when Charles II was on the throne. When the good times began again, after the grim rule of Oliver Cromwell.
In the grounds of Langham Hall there were vintage cars with enthusiastic owners sitting on chairs in the shade eager to answer questions and expound on the virtues of their classic cars.
The wizard stores who in addition to spells and potions also cater for the daily requirements of the villagers was doing a roaring trade in horoscopes. Although tempted by the promise of a hog roast and music at the Bluebell Inn later that evening I bade Au revoir to the village of Langham until 2004.