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Stourbridge Fair at the Leper Chapel, Cambridge - 8th September 2007

The Stourbridge Fair, which commenced in 1211 following a charter from King John, was once one of the most important in Europe. It had visitors such as Daniel Defoe and Isaac Newton, who purchased a copy of Euclid's "Elements" from which he learnt mathematics. The fair, however, faded away as Midsummer Fair (with its central location) became more popular, until it was abolished in the 1930s. This, though, is the 4th annual re-creation of the Stourbridge Fair, which Nosher and Iz's sister happen upon whilst cycling over to meet the "Blackrock Massive" at the dragon boat races in Fen Ditton. It's also a chance to finally have a look inside the chapel (which isn't open very often) as it it on the route to work, and it's always interesting to poke around in buildings, especially one that may be the oldest surviving building in Cambridge, dating as it does from about 1125.

next album: 30th Birthday Party in Kilkee, Co. Clare, Ireland - 22nd September 2007
previous album: Dragon-Boat Racing, Fen Ditton, Cambridge - 8th September 2007

A box of bees writhes away as a small child tries on a bee-keeper's hat

The proctor of Cambridge University formally opens the fair

It's a mediaeval dress-fest (the fair's height of popularity was in the late 1300s)

The deputy (vice-?) mayor of Cambridge says a few words

The University proctor introduces, to the left: a weapon for controlling students and, to the right, some assay equipment

A reader looks satisfied; a flautist looks apprehensive

A book-on-a-chain

Cool pointy stick

An Anglican vicar peers out from the Leper church

The opening of the fair is well attended

Inside the Leper Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Mediaeval walls and windows, c. 13th Century

Later, on the way back from the Cam, graffiti shows a litany of defeated colleges, presumably in some boat race

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A box of bees writhes away as a small child tries on a bee-keeper's hat