Mop Fair Saturday dates confirmed - with road closures requested from noon on preceding Fridays

Written by Peter Davison on .

Mop FairMop FairThe organisers of Wiltshire’s last-remaining Mop Fair have applied for road closure orders for Marlborough High Street.

The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain has requested closures from midday on Friday, October 7 until 8am on Sunday, October 9 for the Little Mop, which takes place on Saturday, October 8 from noon.

A further closure has been requested from midday on Friday, October 14 until 8am on Sunday, October 16 for the Big Mop, which takes place on Saturday, October 15 from noon.

The application will be considered by Wiltshire Council’s traffic orders team, and comments must be submitted by September 9.

The application matches the closures granted in previous years. The Friday closure, note the applicants, enables “the fairs to be set up safely and for all the necessary checks to take place ready for opening the following day.”

Last year, High Street traders requested a later closure of the High Street so that Friday shoppers would be unaffected. But while The Showman's Guild and the fire service agreed to work until later into the evening, to facilitate later road closure, Wiltshire Council would not pay the extra overtime for their staff involved in removing the car parking ticket machines and in safety work.

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Marlborough’s Mop Fairs are held on the closest Saturdays to Old Michaelmas Day, on October 11. If Old Michaelmas Day falls on a Saturday, the fairs are held two weeks apart.

Marlborough's Mop Fairs are thought to date back more than 250 years, with the transformation from hiring fair to leisure activity taking place during the 1800s.