Corby Pole Fair crowdfunder

Corby Pole Fair display in Corby Morrisons from 15th – 19th November

15th November 2022

Update: The display in Corby Morrisons supermarket, attended by Denise Westwood, from the Corby Pole Fair steering group, raised £300 towards the event next June. Many thanks to all who donated!

Make a donation and see the rewards online at
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/corby-pole-fair-2022

The Pole Fair is a major community celebration, which takes place in the Old Village area of Corby every 20 years. The next Corby Pole Fair will take place on Friday 3rd June 2022. This unique tradition comes around every 20 years, with the last Pole Fair last taking place in May 2002 on the Charter Field in Corby Old Village, attracting crowds of 30,000 to enjoy outdoor attractions, entertainment and of course, the reading of the Royal Charter at the three entrances to the village.

V&A Stang, chair and gate (North Northamptonshire Council archive)

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 be carried over the stang to face the stocks. Previous fairs have also included markets, performances, historical re-enactments and a large fun fair.

We have ambitious plans to engage the whole town (& beyond!) in a full day of heritage, arts and community activities to make the fair a day for all to enjoy and remember for years to come. We envisage that at least 30,000 people will attend the event, with many ex-residents coming from afar to take part in the festivities. 

Riding the stang at Corby Pole Fair 1982 © Glyn Dobbs (Northants Telegraph)

Our plans include:

  •  A free community breakfast for all after the morning charter reading
  •  Modern and traditional fun fair rides
  •  Performance stage featuring local schools, community performances and music acts
  •  Family area featuring storytelling, craft activities and a teddy bear’s picnic
  •  Historical re-enactments including a Medieval/Viking village and jousting arena
  •  Carnival parade led by larger-than-life figures from Corby’s history
  •  Performances by local folk music and dance performers
  •  Trail of exhibition boards across the Old Village bringing to life to areas rich history
  •  A spectacular evening finale

The fair is being organised by a steering group of local volunteers and cultural organisations. The management will be led by Made With Many, who have an excellent track record of delivering large-scale cultural events locally, including the series of Grow Festivals held in the town centre from 2018 to 2020.

We are currently busy applying for a range of grants to support the fair, but there are many traditional aspects of the fair that these funds won’t support. These include the music stage, jousting display, community breakfast and fireworks. 

“There are some traditional aspects of the Pole Fair that are much-loved but not attractive to funders, such as the music stage, jousting, family activities and fireworks. So, we’re turning to the local community to help us with these, both through our crowdfunder and business sponsorship offer.

Supporters will get a range of rewards, including limited edition merchandise and surprises from the archive.”

Helen Willmott, Programme Director (Made With Many)

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