A long–standing tradition returned to Belper at the weekend bringing with it all the fun of the fair.
Proctor’s Autumn Fair was officially opened by Belper mayor Joe Booth on Thursday in the Market Place and the Coppice.
The fair has been held in Belper for more than 700 years and has been organised by the Proctor family for three generations.
Councillor Booth said: “The opening night was fantastic. It was one of the best opening nights I have seen for a few years – whether that’s a sign of the times or economic climate getting better I don’t know. The weather helped as well.
“There was something for everyone, there was a brilliant mixture of rides and attractions to cater for everybody.”
John Proctor is the latest in a long line of Proctors to host the fair in association with Belper Town Council.
Councillor Booth said it was an ‘honour’ to ring the bell and open the fair, not only because it is a tradition in Belper, but also because he used to work with travelling fairs.
“It’s been a major part of my life so to be given the opportunity to open it was brilliant,” he said.
Neil Calladine, a fairground historic who lives in Belper and works with John Proctor, said his has been able to trace the fair to 1684 in records, however he has found references to it in the 1300s as well.
He explained that Belper used to be part of Duffield and he believes that the fair moved to Belper when Duffield Castle was burnt down in the 13th Century.
To view a video of the opening night of Belper Fair click on the link above