Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Brigg Fair

click photo to enlarge
"It was on the fifth of August, the weather fine and fair,
Unto Brigg Fair I did repair, for love I was inclined..."
from the folk song, Brigg Fair (traditional)

One of my favourite pieces of music is Brigg Fair: An English Rhapsody by the English composer, Frederick Delius (1862-1934). It is an orchestral piece based on the Lincolnshire folk song that Percy Grainger heard (and recorded) from Joseph Taylor, a Lincolnshire singer. Grainger introduced the piece to Delius who turned it into a work that remains one of his best loved compositions.

As luck would have it we passed through Brigg yesterday, the fourth of August, and with the words of the song in mind we looked around for evidence of the fair. There was nothing that suggested it was on apart from a group of travellers with their horses and caravans. I took today's photograph of a man as he exercised his trotting horse on a street near a large car park. I guessed that this gathering might have had something to do with the fair, but since there was nothing else to indicate the it I resolved to find out more when we got home.

It seems that the fair is held on the first Saturday of August. That was the second of the month this year and so we had missed it. Apparently it is something of a social event and gathering of travellers for horse trading in much the same way that happens at Appleby in Westmorland. The fair has a long history - over 800 years - and today it is less formal and smaller than it would have been when Joseph Taylor was singing in the local musical festival. Next year, perhaps, we'll go on the right day.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 116mm (174mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f9
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On