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Thousands descend on Hampshire town for historic horse fair

Parade of shire horses in the Square Credit: ITV news

The annual Wickham horse fair takes place in Hampshire today. The historic event includes a funfair and parade of horses in the Square. Around 2,000 travellers are expected to attend, with drivers being warned to expect heavy traffic in the area.

It's the biggest and oldest horse fair in the country, with its origin traced back over hundreds of years.

Last year's event was marred by violent scenes but the Police, Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council, Wickham Parish Council and other agencies are working together to ensure that the fair is enjoyable and takes place with minimum disruption.

Wickham Festival attracting international names

“We are thrilled to have been able to secure an artist of the calibre of James Blunt.It should be a very special night.

“He is the biggest name to play here since we moved to our new site and it shows just how far this festival has come. It is now established as a major highlight on the Hampshire calendar.

“Even though we are managing to attract this kind of major artist, the beauty of this festival is it retains its family feel and laid-back atmosphere.

“And because the artists perform under a big top, fans do not need to worry about the weather.”

– Peter Chegwyn

Full details of the Festival and how to buy tickets can be found on the Festival website or the event's twitter feed @festivalwickham.


James Blunt plays Wickham Festival on World Tour

James Blunt Credit: PA

International superstar James Blunt is set to headline this summer’s Wickham Festival. The singer-songwriter will top the bill on Thursday August 14 as part of his worldwide Moon Landing tour.

The soft rock singer, who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, shot to fame with his hit single “You are Beautiful” which brought a series of Grammy nominations.


Traffic warning for horse fair

Horse shown to buyers
Horses paraded at the annual fair in Wickham Credit: PA Wire

The Wickham horse fair will take place in The Square on Monday 20, May where horses are bought and sold.

The fair is traditionally run by members of the travelling community who come from across the the country to trade the animals and parade them.

Hampshire Police has warned of the possible traffic disruption that will see several roads in Wickham closed from 5am until 8pm due to crowds and horses.

Permits have been given to residents to allow them to get to their homes through the closures.

Chief Inspector Andy Houghton said: "This event is steeped in history for Wickham and we have been working closely with Hampshire County Council, Winchester City Council, Wickham Parish Council and other agencies to help maintain a safe environment for visitors and residents to enjoy the day."

Collision between two vans and a car

A three-year-old girl was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital after suffering serious injuries in a collision at Wickham.

Police are appealing for information after a Volkswagen van, a Toyota Yaris and a Ford Transit van collided on the A32 near its junction with Forest Lane.

The incident happened around 11am on 27th September 2012. The three-year-old girl, who's from Ryde, was in the Yaris. She was taken to Southampton General Hospital and is in a critical condition.

Her mother went with her to hospital. She and the driver, a 31-year-old man from Essex were uninjured.

The Volkswagen driver, a 54-year-old Romsey man, was uninjured. He was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and bailed until 10th January 2013, pending further enquiries.

The Transit driver, a 34-year-old Southampton man, was uninjured.

This was a serious collision that’s left a young girl critically ill in hospital. We closed the road for around five hours in order to investigate the scene and recover the vehicles involved and I’d like to thank anyone who was affected for their patience.

We understand there were at least two other vehicles driving ahead of the three involved in the collision at the time. I’d like to hear from these drivers, or anyone who can help us to identify them, to see if they assist our investigation."

– Sergeant Andy Lynch, Roads Policing Unit
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