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The May Fair

The thrills and spills, love it or loathe it, Hereford’s Mayfair has been with us since the 12th Century. It started life as St Ethelbert’s Fair in 1121 and a street fair has been held in the city ever since. Each year, roads are closed off for three days in May to allow the event to take place. The fair has evolved to meet the needs of the modern consumer and today we have gravity-defying, scream-inducing rides, candy floss, deep-fried doughnuts, crisp chips, hook a duck stalls, and numerous opportunities to win  fluffy giant pandas, giraffes, and animals of all descriptions. 

But there are many who will remember a far more colourful fair. 

Dancing girls, naked ladies, bearded ladies, 'freak' shows, and the boxing booth, were just a few of the entertainments long gone from the streets of the May Fair. It would have been impossible for a photographer like Derek Evans, whose studio was on Broad Street, to miss it this annual visual spectacle. His archive is testament to that.

Photo Gallery

Explore these wonderful photos of the May Fair from the Studio archive of a perhaps more risqué event in times past.

The Glamour Parade
Cremation of a living human body
The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance
The Glamour Parade

The Glamour Parade

Tag: Live Show

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Cremation of a living human body

Cremation of a living human body

Tag: Live Show

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The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance

The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance

Tag: Live Show

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The Glamour Parade
Cremation of a living human body
Different reactions to the Dancing Girls at Hereford May Fair
Off-duty Show Women sit by one of the attractions
The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance
The Glamour Parade

The Glamour Parade

Tag: Dancing Girls

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Cremation of a living human body

Cremation of a living human body

Tag: Dancing Girls

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Different reactions to the Dancing Girls at Hereford May Fair

Different reactions to the Dancing Girls at Hereford May Fair

Tag: Dancing Girls

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Off-duty Show Women sit by one of the attractions

Off-duty Show Women sit by one of the attractions

Tag: Dancing Girls

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The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance

The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance

Tag: Dancing Girls

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Hereford May Fair
Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night
Hereford May Fair

Hereford May Fair

Tag: Aerial Photographs

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Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night

Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night

Tag: Aerial Photographs

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Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.
Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.

Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.

Tag: Celebrities

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Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.
Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night
Enjoying the Ride
A snug but thrilling ride on the Waltzers
Vintage Dodgems
Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.

Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.

Tag: Rides

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Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night

Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night

Tag: Rides

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Enjoying the Ride

Enjoying the Ride

Tag: Rides

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A snug but thrilling ride on the Waltzers

A snug but thrilling ride on the Waltzers

Tag: Rides

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Vintage Dodgems

Vintage Dodgems

Tag: Rides

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The Glamour Parade
Cremation of a living human body
Hereford May Fair
Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.
Different reactions to the Dancing Girls at Hereford May Fair
Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night
Enjoying the Ride
A snug but thrilling ride on the Waltzers
Vintage Dodgems
Off-duty Show Women sit by one of the attractions
The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance
The Atmosphere of the May Fair in the 50s-60s
The Glamour Parade

The Glamour Parade

Tag: All

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Cremation of a living human body

Cremation of a living human body

Tag: All

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Hereford May Fair

Hereford May Fair

Tag: All

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Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.

Actor and comedian Alfred Marks takes a turn.

Tag: All

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Different reactions to the Dancing Girls at Hereford May Fair

Different reactions to the Dancing Girls at Hereford May Fair

Tag: All

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Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night

Colour Slide of Hereford May Fair glowing at night

Tag: All

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Enjoying the Ride

Enjoying the Ride

Tag: All

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A snug but thrilling ride on the Waltzers

A snug but thrilling ride on the Waltzers

Tag: All

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Vintage Dodgems

Vintage Dodgems

Tag: All

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Off-duty Show Women sit by one of the attractions

Off-duty Show Women sit by one of the attractions

Tag: All

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The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance

The Tit-Bit of the Fair: The Fan Dance

Tag: All

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The Atmosphere of the May Fair in the 50s-60s

The Atmosphere of the May Fair in the 50s-60s

Tag: All

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Interviews & Videos

Videos and Interviews about the Hereford and Leominster May Fair

Tag: Show All

George White at May Fair Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Extract from Abie Danter Interview

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Tag: Show All

May Fair Hereford 2017

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Tag: Show All

Pauline Davies Complete Interview (May Fair topic starts at 19:20mins)

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Tag: Show All

Claire Danter at May Fair Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Lily Morris & Her Son, David Morris Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Abie Danter Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Katie Cave Browne-Cave Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Tom Smith Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Emily Wilson Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Abie Morris Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Lynden Haynes & Clive Weaven Complete Interview

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Tag: Show All

Gwynedd Thomas Complete Interview

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Tag: Origins

Extract from Abie Danter Interview

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Tag: Abie Danter

Extract from Abie Danter Interview

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Tag: Abie Danter

Abie Danter Complete Interview

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Tag: Rides

May Fair Hereford 2017

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Tag: Modern Day

May Fair Hereford 2017

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Tag: Leominster May Fair

Pauline Davies Complete Interview (May Fair topic starts at 19:20mins)

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Tag: Leominster May Fair

Lily Morris & Her Son, David Morris Complete Interview

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Tag: Leominster May Fair

Abie Morris Complete Interview

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Tag: Pauline Davis

Pauline Davies Complete Interview (May Fair topic starts at 19:20mins)

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Tag: Claire Danter

Claire Danter at May Fair Complete Interview

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Tag: Lily Morris

Lily Morris & Her Son, David Morris Complete Interview

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Tag: David Morris

Lily Morris & Her Son, David Morris Complete Interview

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Tag: Katie Cave Browne-Cave

Katie Cave Browne-Cave Complete Interview

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Tag: Bishop Eastaugh

Katie Cave Browne-Cave Complete Interview

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Tag: Tom Smith

Tom Smith Complete Interview

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Tag: Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson Complete Interview

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Tag: Abie Morris

Abie Morris Complete Interview

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Tag: Lynden Haynes

Lynden Haynes & Clive Weaven Complete Interview

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Tag: Clive Weaven

Lynden Haynes & Clive Weaven Complete Interview

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Tag: Gwynedd Thomas

Gwynedd Thomas Complete Interview

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Subtitled Versions of the video interview

Using the Closed Captioning (CC) facility in YouTube we can offer auto-generated subtitled versions of the 110+ oral history video interviews. Click on the link to access the May Fair Playlist

NB: To switch on the subtitles go to the bottom tab on the main image and click on 'CC' - to switch them off, do the same.