If you take away horses you will kill Lammas Fair

Dear readers,

As you are all aware of the tragic news about the Lammas Fair, I for one think it is disastrous and will destroy the fair completely.

The name Lammas is not just a name; but it is called Lammas for a reason.

Or some know it as the hiring fair where men and women looking for work all went to get hired by farmers and gentry for the harvest time and hopefully longer.

It was also when some of the employers of the day paid their workers.

They also brought their horses and other stock including sheep, cows, hens, turkeys etc.

Some of the poultry was bought to increase their flocks and in many cases to feed their families all winter.

The horses were bought and sold to work the land, pulling ploughs and carts with cereals and potatoes to be taken back to the yard.

The horses were, for some, a means of transport to and from the Moss and to the mills.

Some even bought horses for sporting and to pull their buggies etc.

I for one, and there are many like me who grew up down the Fairhill in Ballycastle. I lived there for 18 very happy years of my life.

The thought of the Lammas Fair meant some work for us as kids.

We loved to help to set up the livestock pens in anticipation of the animals that were about to come to our lovely wee street to be bought and sold and talked about.

Some were just curious about who was selling what. Some even criticised and the banter was great fun to watch and listen to.

Many a time this tradition was often carried up to the Diamond in the evenings when someone thought he could get a better deal and on occasions did.

It was interesting and educational. On the other hand it could be a time for some to sort out some hostilities with one another.

But it was good clean fighting - they just used their fists and would all be over and done with in a few punches.

Then they shook hands and went their own ways. If you take away the horses from the fair you will kill it.

It is already being destroyed with the way you have changed the stall layout and the prices that the stall holders have to pay.

Come on now, this is the biggest money-maker in the town the whole year. People used to come far and wide to the fair.

Some still do but not in the way they used to. They all came for their bargains and many occasions to meet up with friends that some had not seen since the last fair.

As it is now it is no different than the market at Nutts Corner. Is that what we want for our town?

Is it not worth fighting for?

Are we just going to sit there and let the council off with this, the way they have changed so many more things?

Not for better, I might add. Usually to what suits them.

Sorry but I have no faith in the council or even the government for that matter.

Sandra McMullan

Moyarget Road

Ballycastle