Old Coulsdon gearing up for 2012 fair
CLASSIC cars, bowling and acrobatics will be on display at Grange Park next month for a bigger than ever Old Coulsdon Fair.
The traditional event organised by the Coulsdon Manor Rotary Club, is expected to draw thousands of visitors on July 7.
Adrian Nash, chair of the fair's organising committee, said this year's celebration would include chances to take part in previously unfeatured sports, including hockey, bowls and football.
"The point is to do something for the younger generation and encourage people to try something they have not tried before," he added.
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Other planned highlights of the afternoon event include rides on a steam train and a live performance by the Crystal Palace Band, south London's Oldest Brass band, formed in 1901.
A gymnastics display by Coulsdon's Zodiac Gymnastic Club and a classic car show will compete for attention with 125 charity and bric-a-brac stalls.
Mr Nash said: "The idea is to have some fun and enable charities to raise funds; for some it is their main fundraising event of the year."
Fair-goers can enter their classic cars in the show, and their dogs in a dog show run by Freer Farm kennels.
A tea room will be set up in the Old Coulsdon Centre for the Retired, a main beneficiary of the event, while youngsters and the young-at-heart can enjoy the face-painting and side shows.
The fair has come a long way from its humble beginnings some 18 years ago.
"It started as something very small, with just a few stalls," said Mr Nash.
"And it has just grown and grown. People come from far away; we normally get a few thousand people although it is difficult to say for sure as we do not charge for entry."
He added: "We have been extremely lucky with the weather in the past, and we hope our luck holds."
A handful of local businesses are sponsoring the fair: John Brown Estate Agents, of Old Coulsdon; Clarity Financial Planning, of Purley; the Old Coulsdon Osteopathic Clinic; and Advanced Print, of Coulsdon.
The Coulsdon branch of Waitrose has also donated money via its Community Matters charity scheme.
The fair will be opened at noon by new Croydon mayor Eddy Aram. It will run until 4.30pm.
Free parking will be available at the site.
For more information or to register your interest in entering cars or pets in the shows, e-mail Adrian Nash at email@example.com