THIS week should have seen the arrival of the May Fair in Herefordshire for its 900th anniversary.

Last year, coronavirus saw the cancellation of the popular fair, but this year organisers have vowed to go ahead later in the year.

But while they wait for the new dates in July and August to roll around, members of our We Grew Up In Hereford Facebook group have been sharing their memories of May Fairs gone by.

"The fair has become contentious over the years," said John Price.

"It is like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. I come from a generation that loves the fair. Maybe it means more to us country folk than people who lived in the cities because we had less going on. I love the loud music and people laughing and the hustle and bustle of it. It also brings different people than you normally see.

"I remember when the fair went everywhere in town and finished by the bus station, where the boxing was held. I remember I must have been about 17 and had a few pints of magic water in the Hop Pole and decided to have a go. The boxer was a little fat man – how hard could it be? So I got in the ring, managed to dodge him for about 30 seconds, got a bit cocky and tried the Ali shuffle, tripped up and as I fell forward he got me on the head. That was it, I was seeing double for ages after.

"When I was about 50 one of the granddaughters wanted to go on the cup and saucers but wouldn't go on her own so I had to go on with her. Me and 20 screaming three-year-olds, everyone laughing except me and she wanted to go again. I also had to go on the mini roundabout, her ringing the bell on the fire engine and me with my knees up to my chin going brum brum on the motorbike getting into the spirit . I think the controller though I was mental.

"We could make the fair last 12 days then. We had Weobley, Kington, and Leominster, then they all ended up at Pembridge for one big fair. It could get a bit rough, the Kington and Leominster lads used to meet there for a scrap, sometimes it got a bit hairy but it was just fist fighting nothing else, not like today."

His memories were echoed by Caroline Powell, who said she loved the May Fair.

"Lived in Hereford until I was 14 and went every year," she wrote.

"The only time of year I was allowed to eat chips out of paper in the street! Then enjoyed it in Weobley and Hereford."

And Michael Jones said he would visit the fair every day when it is in town.

"I have never been one for the rides, I just love walking around to take in the atmosphere, smell, music and you almost always bump into people you haven’t seen for years, some you want to see and some you don't," he wrote,

"I love the fair and always have."