Corby Pole Fair funding announcement

1982 Corby Pole Fair © Corby Borough Council Archive

Corby Pole Fair gains National Lottery investment to help plan the 2022 event

The Steering Group for the Corby Pole Fair, due to take place in May 2022, has been awarded investment of over £35,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Pole Fair is a major community celebration, which takes place in the Old Village area of Corby every 20 years and is said to have been celebrated in some form for over a thousand years. There are numerous traditions that take place at every fair, including a dawn parade with a reading of the town’s charter, floral gateways to the old village area of Corby, and a greasy pole competition. At the celebration of the Pole Fair in Corby every person entering the village has to pay a small toll or face the stocks. Previous fairs have also included markets, performances, historical re-enactments and a large fun fair.

Last year, a small group of volunteers came together to start to plan the next Pole Fair, and they have been working with Made With Many (formerly Made In Corby), HD Media CIC and Corby Borough Council. This investment means that they can drastically expand the activities of the steering group and will help to make sure that local people are central to planning the fair.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the steering group will undertake a wide consultation in autumn 2020 and gain specialist support with planning. Activities will include an exhibition of the extensive Pole Fair archives held by Corby Heritage Centre and a series of focus groups for local residents, businesses, schools and community groups. HD Media CIC will also be undertaking a film archive project, bringing together archive footage of previous fairs and preserving it for future generations.

Helen Willmott, Programme Director of Made With Many, commented,

“We are really excited to be working with a fantastic group of volunteers and partners in planning the next Pole Fair. We can’t wait to expand that group and to hear local people’s ideas for what promises to be a truly memorable event.” 

To stay up to date with developments, follow the Corby Pole Fair Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CorbyPoleFair or to register your interest in taking part in a consultation session email your details to info@madewithmany.org

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