ENGLAND, UK: Children releasing messages attached to balloons, June 1952. Mediadrumimages / Retronaut / Topfoto

By Rebecca Drew


JOVIAL black and white images have been unearthed showing all the fun of the traditional English village fair as carefree communities celebrated the summer months.

The pictures show villagers of all ages from across the country taking part in the festivities which include hay bale throwing, hobby horse racing and a Punch and Judy puppet show.

ENGLAND, UK: Holiday campers on the greasy pole, Brighstone, Isle of Wight, England. Mediadrumimages / Retronaut / Topfoto

Children can be seen happily sprinting down the running track in a race as their families cheer on from the sidelines and others enjoy a game of bottle fishing. A little girl can be seen proudly holding a coconut that she has won on the shy.

ENGLAND, UK: Darenth Village Fete: Children enjoying a game of ‘fishing’ at the fete held at Darenth vicarage, Kent, England, July 1961. Mediadrumimages / Retronaut / Topfoto

It’s not just children who are pictured enjoying the fun as men take part in the tug of war contest and women can be seen encouraging passers-by to have a go on their stalls, whilst contestants of the ‘prettiest ankle’ competition wait patiently to be judged.

ENGLAND, UK: Determination, as expressed by a sea cadet on the revolving horse, at a Sidcup fete, September 1948. Mediadrumimages / Retronaut / Topfoto

The pictures were taken across the UK between 1936 and 1962.

Village fetes are common in Britain particularly during the summer months.

ENGLAND, UK: Bowaters Family Day Out – the Men’s Sack Race, Gillingham, Kent, England, July 1954. Mediadrumimages / Retronaut / Topfoto

Attractions include, tombolas, coconut shies, raffles, competitive baking, Morris dancing, tug of war, hoopla stalls, fancy dress and pet shows.