May Day Fun

Today is the May Day bank holiday here in England. My memories of it as a child are cold and wet but this year we woke up to sunshine. I set off for my run at about half nine and, luckily had decided to do a slow, short one. I say lucky because my legs had nothing in them at all. To take my mind off the pain I decided to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

May has to be one of my favourite months. Everything is bright, fresh and full of energy, something that I really appreciated this morning. It was just me, the birds and the countryside. I was so struck by it that I came home to collect my camera and went back on my bike to collect my camera.

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To me this is England at its best.  It was especially poignant today as, in a few hours the peace and quiet would be shattered by loads of people descending on the area to attend what is supposedly the oldest market in the country – Reach Fair. Reach is usually a very quiet and sleepy hamlet but on one day every year it is ram packed with people.

The peace and quiet when running this morning.

The peace and quiet when running this morning.

Everyone descending upon Reach.

Everyone descending upon Reach.


Reach itself.

There are fair rides, May Pole dancing, Morris Men, stalls, food, birds of prey ……and lots of queues!

Despite being an hour from the coast today Reach was once a sea port (before the fens were drained). The big iron rings are still there today. In 1201 the village got permission from the king to hold a fair once a year. In the depths of my mind I seem to remember that it was originally about animals but I am not 100% sure. It has been running ever since which is quite impressive!

It is opened by the mayor of Cambridge who throws pennies out at the crowd. (After the obligatory OH YAY, OH YAY, OH YAY’s!). I am sure that the residents must have a love hate relationship with the fair as there is not really any way to escape. At least it is only for 1 day a year…..


14 thoughts on “May Day Fun

  1. Knit and Purl Garden

    Lovely photos! The countryside is so beautiful at the moment, bursting with green and spring flowers, birds singing…. We went to a May Fair today – it was really lovely being out and about in the countryside enjoying the May day fun. Must post some photos too:)

  2. lovelucie1

    It was a gorgeous start to the day in Yorkshire too. I got out early for a bike ride. Isn’t it lovely now everything has finally ‘greened up’?

    1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

      I think our history is something that we really take for granted because we are surrounded by it all the time. We have an American base nearby so often come into contact with Americans which does help us to appreciate it. Good to be reminded from time to time.

  3. feelgoodknitting

    There’s a town here in Virginia that suffers a similar once-a-year tourism explosion – every summer when they thin the herd of wild ponies by auctioning off some to fund the local fire department. It’s insane to watch what happens to the place. Still fun though!

    1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

      I love that these places have a little bulge but then return to normal. It is almost like a little secret or joke with the rest of the world….we may be small but look at what we can do if we want to!

  4. lovelucie1

    Just seen your pictures, they didn’t play on my Ipad last night. Some really lovely ones there. I can completely understand why you had to go back out again to take them. Doesn’t it make you feel uplifted to be surrounded by all this beautiful countryside? Exercise for the soul as well as the legs.


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