at Titchfield Abbey,
Held on Saturday 10th July 1999
Patron: Lord Montagu of Beaulieu
In association with
Fareham Borough Council
TAPS (Traditional Arts Projects)
Titchfield Abbey Association
The 1447 Charter
Henry VI granted a charter to hold a fair after his marriage to Margaret of Anjou. The fair has been resurrected for 1999.
'Whereas the marriage between the King and his consort was solemnized in the Abbey of St Mary, Ticefield, co. Hants, where the King and his wife afterwards made some stay, to whom the abbot and convent showed much courtesy and diligence, now the King... has granted to them... one tun of red wine of Gascony... also a yearly fair at their town of Ticefield, co. Hampshire...'
The 1999 Fair
There was a beaming monk at the gate of Titchfield Abbey to greet visitors, and just inside the gate a Seventeenth Century village was set up. The grown-ups in their old costumes, sat weaving and lace making, and watching their children play old fashioned games.
Close by was a bouncy castle, and modern childrens games - putting, hoop-la, roll-a-ball.
And next to that a dozen or so stalls, under gazebos, selling preserves, wood turning, antiques, country music CDs, together with portrait painting, the Titchfield History Society and the Earl of Southamptons Trust.
The catering marquee served food and drink all day, with even a hog roast on a spit.
In front of the Abbey a stage had been set up, and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Patron of the Fair, performed the opening ceremony with the Mayor of Fareham, and actors dressed as Margaret of Anjou, Queen Elizabeth I, the Third Earl of Southampton even William Shakespeare himself.
The Fair was the inspiration of Clarinda Karpov from Omaha Nebraska, USA, who loves Titchfield and the Abbey, and loves even more the third Earl, whom she sees as a hero and great benefactor for Titchfield.
Clarinda brought with her from the USA a troupe to perform at the Fair. More importantly, she had enthused a whole range of people to make her dream come true. Lord Montagu, Fareham Borough Council (which gave a generous grant to the Fair) TAPS (Traditional Arts Projects) which gave unqualified artistic approval, and many individuals in Titchfield who gave unstintingly of their time.
A number of families in the village gave free accommodation to the American actors; the Bugle Hotel gave them a free dinner. Both the Queens Head and the Titchfield Mill gave generously to the raffle. The Sea Scouts not only lent their tents for changing rooms, but turned up on the day to look after car parking, games etc.
Many individuals worked quietly and uncomplainingly throughout a hot day.
And what a day it was. From the raising of the glove of peace to start the show to the energetic Roots Progress group at the end, there was music and dance and theatre all over the Abbey grounds. There were lots of people in Elizabethan costume, visitors as well as performers, people strutting their stuff on stage, people rehearsing, playing duets in odd corners, even playing quietly just for their own amusement. The place was alive with professional actors and dancers, childrens choirs, the Elizabeth School of Dancing, wandering magicians and buskers, theatre groups such as After Eight and Open Space, the Titchfield Mummers with yet another original performance and groups from local schools Neville Lovett and Titchfield Primary.
It was a celebration for the community by the community in the community.
Will it be repeated next year? Certainly! Do we need help? You bet! We need performers and we need organisers; we would particularly welcome groups to join us, who can provide people to work throughout the build-up on promotion, administration, fund raising, and which can provide strong bodies to help on the day itself.
If you would like to be part of the Earl of Southamptons Fair 2000 please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Selection of 1999 Fair Photos!
Two performers having a well earned rest.
William Shakespeare and Clarinda having fun at the Fair!
Queen Elizabeth visiting the Titchfield History Society Stand.
About the Fair
The objective of the Fair, in line with that of the Titchfield Abbey Association, is to involve the community. It is a community celebration of Titchfield Abbey, its past, present and future. It will draw on the imagination and resources of local craftspeople, artists, hobbyists, schools and community-based organisations. Many people will be taking an active part on the day - including visitors.
It is to be an annual event, and the first one, in 1999, has been pump-primed by a generous donation by Fareham Borough Council.
The Fair has to pay its way. There are administration costs (for example, the production of this leaflet) and payment for a small number of professional performers. Income will come from stall holders, sponsors, entrance fees to the Fair, and a small surplus from the banquet.
The Fair is a not-for-profit organisation. It has a constitution which is lodged with Fareham Borough Council.
Any surplus in 1999 will go first towards promoting the 2000 event, and secondly to local charities.
All the way from Omaha, USA, but fascinated by Titchfield, How Now! will be involved throughout the day. They bring alive the traditional performing arts of the past through music, theatre and poetic representation. Combining period costume and folk instruments with history and imagination, the troupe creates a celebration of our artistic legacy, enchanting and meaningful to the 20th century - and to the 21st.
TAPS (Traditional Arts Projects) is the traditional arts development agency from the Southern Arts region. Its purpose is to promote an understanding of the contemporary relevance of the traditional arts, and to encourage participation in them by the widest possible range of people through the creation of community events.
The Earl of Southamptons Fair promises to be a glorious pageant. The setting and the concept will attract a good deal of media attention. It presents an opportunity for local businesses to have a very rewarding association with the Fair.
A variety of sponsorship opportunities is available. For example, some of the schools taking part will put on workshop-led performances, and will need a sponsor; appropriate banners can be placed around the grounds; the Renaissance banquet can have one sponsor with the option for the sponsor to buy some of the tickets for its most important clients. All sponsors will be acknowledged in a manner agreed between the parties.
Contacting the Fair administrator
For further information or tickets, please contact:
Mr T. Bird,
The Earl of Southampton's Fair,
16 Orchard Avenue
West Sussex PO19 3BE
Tel 01243 537100 Fax 01243 839425