Fairs in Campsie



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Fairs in Campsie

The Fair day in September, during the time of  the St Machan's festival,  became both a social and religious event. Traders took advantage of the festival to sell their goods, so in this way, the religious festival became the local Fair.

Before St Machan's festival there was another Fair, held in October, in the east end of the village. 

Cameron describes the scene for us, "Horses and cattle stood in the Main street, adjoining the Tontine (latterly, the Lennox Arms Hotel), while numerous barrows of sweetmeats, toys, and fairin's were ranged along the street between the Field Road and the School Loan." There was a half-holiday at the mills on Fair Day, and it was also a favourite time for weddings.

After weekly cattle markets were established in Glasgow, the local Fairs gradually disappeared, but the Fair night was still remembered as a favourite date for social gatherings long after the Fair had ceased to be.

Another Fair in the parish was the Torrance & Balgrochan Fair which was held on November 5th in a field beside Wester Balgrochan,  Torrance, and usually included a cattle sale. This fair has been resurrected in the last few years, and although it is again sited in Wester Balgrochan, it is now held in August.

On November 3rd 1909, one local made the following observation about Campsie Fair.

"The day before Hallowe'en was one time observed at Campsie Fair, but this time-honoured custom is now honoured in the breach rather than the observance, yet one was reminded of Hallow's eve on Saturday and Sunday evenings, when groups of children dressed as guisers, visited houses to get their fairing on the Hallowe'en."


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