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through the door Sheep Fair Time!

This year’s Fair takes place on the 9th -11th of September. We take a look at its history.

An annual three day fair was allowed by Charter in Findon, as far back as 1261. By 1650 this had become a one day sale on Holy Thursday. George Holford started the Sheep Fair proper on Nepcote Green sometime before 1785. A lamb sale was held on 12th July followed by The Great Fair, always held on 14th September. Previously the sheep had been sold by private deals and the first auction sales started in 1896. From 1925 sheep were driven in large flocks over the downs to Steyning train station for delivery but this stopped when the line closed in the 1960s. Gradually lorries took over and sheep were no longer delivered on foot in the traditional way.

In 1940 the fair was moved by order of the War Office. It was transported by the traction engines of the Harris Fun-Fair to West Grinstead (the Harris family are still attending the fair today). After the war, it returned to Findon and in the 1950s the date was altered to the second Saturday in September. In 1971 the July lamb sale was

Programme of Events Friday 9th September

6.30pm - Harris Brothers Traditional Fair, roundabouts and sideshows!

7.30pm - Family Barn Dance in the Marquee. Band - Foreman Five Licensed Bar & Anaz curry buffet. (not included in ticket price) Entry by ticket only - £6 adults, £1.50 Children.

Saturday 10th September 10.30am – Sheep Fair Opens

Top of the Green Sheep Judging

Children’s Entertainment Arena Punch and Judy – See board for times.

Charity / Community 17

discontinued. and chestnut hurdles, which had replaced oak, were themselves replaced by more hygienic metal ones. Most dramatically the breed of sheep, which used to be almost all Southdown, were gradually replaced by other breeds, the most popular rams being Suffolk.

At one point more than 15,000 sheep were auctioned at the Fair. Sadly, auctioneers find it less and less financially viable to conduct sheep auctions, so the 200 year old traditional part of the Fair will not take place for

the foreseeable future.

The good news is that there will still be sheep as there is interest from farmers to establish a greater involvement in showing sheep at Findon. Judging will take place between on Saturday between 10am and 5pm so please come and support the farming community.

and present

Messy Church and Face painting.

In Main Arena 10.30am - History of Sheep & Shearing 11.00am - Falconry 11.30am - Sheepdog Demonstration 12.00pm - Shire Horses 12.30pm - History of Sheep & Shearing 1.30pm - Sheepdog Demonstration 2.00pm - Falconry 2.30pm - Shire Horses 3.00pm - Sheep Parade 3.30pm - Fire Brigade Display 4.00pm - History of Sheep & Shearing 4.30pm - Village Tug of War

7.30pm - In the Marquee - Lets Dance! Band - Murdochs Crazy Eyes. - playing everything from cheese classics

and cheery pop to funky grooves and soulful melodies! - Licensed bar and Anaz curry buffet. (not included in ticket price). Entry by ticket only - £6 adults, £1.50 Children.

Sunday 12th September 1.00pm – Bring your own picnic 2.45pm – Songs of Praise Salvation Army Band in conjunction with St. John The Baptist Church, Findon.

Evening tickets available from : Curtis & Son - Findon Valley Findon Village Post Office Findon Village Butchers (Peckhams)

The charge for the car park is divided equally between the 1st Findon Valley Scout Group and The Sheep Fair & Village Festival Committee. For further information please visit


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