What is Appleby Horse Fair? The city that the gypsies took over on C5

The town the gypsies took over is a Channel 5 documentary about the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria – but what exactly is it?

Who visits the annual festival and why? And why do the police have to interfere?

Here is everything you need to know!


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What is the Appleby Horse Fair and where is it held?

The Appleby Horse Fair is an annual gathering of gypsies and travelers in the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria.

The event attracts around 10,000 gypsies and travelers, including 1,000 caravans and several hundred horse-drawn carriages.

It is believed to be one of the largest traditional gypsy fairs in Europe.

The fair takes place outside of Appleby town, not far from Gallows Hill, named for the public draperies that were once held there.

The Appleby Horse Fair is a regular gathering where toilets, dumpsters, water supplies, and horse pastures are pre-arranged.

There are stalls and a catering area, as well as licensed campsites and parking spaces nearby.

In the horse trade, horses are presented or “flashed” by trotting up and down at high speed.

In addition to horses, there are fortune tellers, palm readers, street musicians and music stands, clothing stands, tools and hardware, porcelain, stainless steel and horse-related goods such as harnesses and carriages.

Why and how are the police involved?

Police are always present at the Appleby Horse Fair.

The fair creates some controversy with local residents, some of whom complain about the chaos, crime and cruelty to animals.

In 2014 there were 28 arrests at the fair for drug use, drunkenness and disability.

In 2015 there were 15 and in 2018 only seven.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall previously told The Sun, “If I could stop it, trust me, I would.”

Speaking to residents of the nearby town of Kirkby Stephen, McCall said, “We all just want to get rid of the problem, but I feel we need to deal with it as best we can.”

The Appleby Horse Fair takes place every year in Cumbria (Photo credit: WittWoo / Cover images)
The Appleby Horse Fair takes place every year in Cumbria (Photo credit: WittWoo / Cover images)

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When is the Appleby Horse Fair held?

The horse fair, also known as the Appleby New Fair, is held every year in early June.

The 2020 meeting was canceled due to the pandemic.

Will it take place in 2021?

The Appleby Horse Fair will take place between Thursday June 3 and Sunday June 6, 2021.

However, this is against the Covid restrictions.

Large gatherings are not permitted until June 21 at the earliest.

The event has been postponed.

Appleby in Cumbria is the site of the annual festival (Photo credit: WittWoo / Cover images)
Appleby in Cumbria is the site of the annual festival (Photo credit: WittWoo / Cover images)

How long has the Appleby Horse Fair been running?

The stories of the Appleby Horse Fair date back to 1685.

In 1775 the fair welcomed sheep and cattle breeders as well as horse traders who sold their stocks.

By the 1900s, it had become an important occasion for gypsies and travelers alike.

The fair was canceled twice, in 2001 because of foot and mouth disease and in 2020 because of coronavirus.

The 2020 fair was held with only six attendees in response to travelers’ belief that the fair would be lost if it did not take place.

A hundred spectators also opposed the ban.

The town that the gypsies took over on Channel 5

The city that the Gypsies took over aired on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021, after it was originally shown in August 2019.

The C5 documentary is about the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria – Britain’s oldest and most exclusive gypsy gathering.

The program makers examine how new police restrictions are affecting the traditions of the festival.

Viewers also see how pouring rain affects the event.

Also, local business owners share their thoughts on the event.

While some may benefit from the visitors, for others the size of the show is overwhelming.

The city that the Gypsies took over aired on Channel 5 on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 at 10 p.m.

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