Line-up revealed for Melford's big new summer fair

Long Melford is hosting its first midsummer country fair to raise funds for the Holy Trinity Church appeal.

The ambitious event, a country fair and craft village, takes place in the grounds of Melford Hall over the weekend of June 21 and 22.

Organisers Oakleigh Fairs, of Cambridge, were approached by the church's appeal committee and have put together a packed two-day family show with a varied programme appealing to all ages.

Entertainment includes Scot Billy Kinghorn's sheep show, Cyril the Squirrel terrier racing, local Suffolk Punches from Horkesley Park, falconry and bird of prey displays, agility dogs and a have-a-go bakery.

For youngsters there will be donkey rides, magic and Punch and Judy shows, a farm and fairground.

In addition traditional craft workers will demonstrate hurdle and stick furniture-making as well as spinning and braiding.

Other features include displays of antique farm machinery, arts, crafts and gifts marquees and a lifestyle and food hall.

On the Sunday only a companion dog show in aid of Labrador Rescue will be open to all dogs.

Emma Owen of Oakleigh Fairs said: "From a professional viewpoint the country fair has received tremendous support from local people. There's a real sense of community we've been able to tap into.

"We're very grateful to Sir Richard and Lady Hyde Parker for allowing us to stage the event in the grounds of Melford Hall, which makes a perfect backdrop.

"Holy Trinity Church is one of the finest wool churches in the country and the fair is a great way ot highlighting what the appeal committee is trying to do."

Churchwarden David Hamand said: "We need to raise more than 600,000 and the parochial church council is tremendously grateful for the amount of work our fundraising committee has put in to initiate the whole weekend.

"Our church needs new lighting, acoustic and heating systems, the Tudor stained-glass windows have to be restored and renovation work is needed on the bells and bell frame.

"It is a huge task but we're hoping for a lot of support from local people as well as from further afield and, of course, a fine weekend."

The fair will open from 10.30am to 5pm and admission is 5, concessions, 4, children aged five to 16, 2, family ticket, 12. To book in advance at discounted rates, visit