From the News and Star
A new and improved website has been launched to help visitors travelling to Appleby Fair.
For the fifth year running, a Multi-Agency Strategic Coordinating Group (MASCG) has been set up to help ensure the annual horse fair runs as smoothly as possible.
The group is chaired by Eden council, and includes representatives from the Gypsy and Traveller communities, South Lakeland Council, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria police, the RSPCA, Trading Standards and other agencies.
The new website includes information on stopping points, camp sites, road closures, public transport, local pubs, animal welfare, details on cultural and community events and much more.
Appleby fair is a unique event, attracting about 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers from across the world, and about 30,000 other visitors. Robin Hooper, of Eden council and chairman of the MASCG, said: “It is our job to provide visitors and local residents with the services required to ensure the fair is safe and enjoyable for all.
“The planning for Appleby fair is a year-round process and a lot of work goes into making the event a successful one each year.”
He continued: “It is a pivotal event in Gypsy and Travellers’ calendar and culture, and is regarded as a traditional holiday where distant family members come to meet.
“Our aim is to keep everyone updated of any changes to the event and provide them with as much information as possible in order for them to plan their route and travel and have an awareness of the facilities available at the fair.”
Michelle Skeer, Assistant Chief onstable of Cumbria police and the officer in charge of policing the fair, added: “The website is an important tool for all; for those who are travelling into the county and want to plan their journey, those who want find out information about trading, local residents who want to know about the tidy up, and those who are just visiting for one of the days and want to know what to expect.
“As with every fair, respecting each other’s needs and differences is the key to the success of Appleby Horse Fair 2012.”
This year’s fair takes place between Thursday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 13.
Website link: Appleby Horse Fair 7-13 June 2012