For the first time in several years, the main two days of the Lammas Market in St Andrews enjoyed good weather but, surprisingly, attendances were down.
The town returned to normal by early on Wednesday morning following the departure of the showmen and traders who had set up in business in South Street on Monday and Tuesday and in Market Street a couple days earlier for the now traditional mini fairground, the latter of which experienced mixed weather.
However, according to some members of the Showmen’s Guild the overall number of people who visited the fairground were down on previous years, a mirror image of other similar events across the country.
Philip Paris, chairman of the Scottish region of the Guild, said,”There is no doubt that the recession has had an effect on attendances and with increased fuel and staff costs it has been a difficult year.”
Some showmen paid up to £1000 to set up their giant fairground rides at the event, which is the oldest surviving mediaeval street market in the country,
Leading members of the Guild were welcomed to the town by Fife Provost Frances Melville at an informal reception held in the Burgh Chambers.
There were no new large fairground attractions in St Andrews, but making a welcome return was Taylor’s American carousel hobby horses, which proved very popular with all ages.
The enforced traffic and parking restrictions in the town centre were lifted by the morning rush hour on Wednesday following a clean-up operation by Fife Council.