The Fair was started in 1977 as the Raveningham Threshing Fair as a showcase for local crafts people, to a certain extent modelled on the Barsham Fairs held just across the Suffolk border that came to an end about the same time. The centre point of every fair was the steam engine and threshing machine (which still appear every year); other rural crafts and displays were also shown, including cutting the straw with a old binder, old tractors and stationary engines. You can read the original call for participants and report on the 1977 Fair published in the Raveningham Group Magazine.
After about 20 years the name was changed to encompass the evolving face of the event, and it is now the Raveningham Country Fair (though still referred to by many affectionately as the threshing fair). From the beginning, funds raised went to the Raveningham Group of Churches but we also now support a range of local charities and good causes.
The Fair takes place on the first Saturday after the August Bank Holiday in the Raveningham area. We are kindly offered the use of a stubble field by a local farmer or Sir Nicholas Bacon at Raveningham Hall.
The organising committee is a dedicated group of about a dozen people from all walks of life. They meet regularly throughout the year in the Queen’s Head in Thurlton to plan the the Fair. However, a great number of local individuals and charity groups contribute to the success of the event by giving their time and effort. More help is always welcome and we would be delighted to have new people on the committee or to help prepare and tidy the field and assist with tasks such as helping on the entry gate, parking, serving in the refreshment tents and so on. Do Contact us.
We support local churches and charities including Scouts, pre schools, first schools, village halls, sports associations and children’s playgrounds.
In return for help from these organisations, we donate a proportion of the takings of the Fair to them.
After the 2017 Fair, we distributed nearly £5,000 shared between the following organisations:
Photographs from the early days of the Fair:
These pictures were taken by the late Chris James Rivett, whose grandson James continues the family tradition by organising the steam displays.
In the early days, a ‘village’ was constructed out of straw bales and tarpaulins and people were encouraged to dress up in Edwardian garb