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Although Tewkesbury’s two-day Mop Festival is named after the humble domestic utensil, this is not, as you might have thought, a curious celebration of cleanliness that Kim and Aggie would be proud of.
Instead the historic fair provides the setting for a fun-evening out for families from across Gloucestershire every year, with the annual celebrations being held again in October 2013.
Dating back to 12th century, according to the Tewkesbury Fair Society the Mop Fair’s name came about because farm workers, labourers, servants and craftsmen would take along an item to represent their trade to the fair.
When the workers had no specific skills they would carry a mop head to signify that they were for free for employment in the hope an employer would spot them in the crowds and give them a job – quite unlike today’s recruitment fairs, but an efficient way to find employment nonetheless.
While the modern-day organisers of Tewkesbury Mop Fair won’t be promising career advancements, the celebratory feeling of the street party has remained consistent to this very day.
The two-day festival in 2013 will see Tewkesbury’s Nelson Street packed with visitors, with fun fair rides, traditional games and stalls serving tempting snacks all open for business. Bringing along a mop is strictly optional, but may help with the street cleaning afterwards…
Friday 14 September 2012
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