Mop Fair returning to Warwick this month

Photo provided by Warwick Mop organisers.
Photo provided by Warwick Mop organisers.

One of Warwick’s oldest traditions will be returning to the town this month.

The Warwick Mop Fair takes place over two weekends every October filling the town centre with rides, stalls and other fairground attractions.

The Mop will be set up on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 and the Runaway Mop will take place on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21.

On both weekends the fair will open from 5pm on Fridays and at noon each Saturday.

The event traces its history back almost 700 years, with its origins as a hiring fair for agricultural workers, where they sought employment for the year ahead and were paid a token wage by their new employer.

They were then given a trial period lasting until the Runaway Mop, where they had the option to continue or seek a new employer.

Many traditions are maintained at the current fair, including the official opening ceremony which takes place at noon on the Saturday.

The Mayor of Warwick Stephen Cross will declare the fair officially open after reading the historic charter. Following the opening, the traditional pig roast is held along with a charity auction for the first slice of meat.

The auction proceeds and sale of pork batches on the day will raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity.

Mop Organiser, Tommy Wilson, and his family before him have been bringing their rides and attractions to the town for many years.

He said: “Warwick is a town that the showmen look forward to visiting each year. We’ve been coming to the Mop for generations and are proud to do our part in maintaining the tradition in the town.”

On the Friday of the Runaway Mop there will also be a special opening of the rides for the children from Ridgeway and Round Oak schools. The fair will not open to the general public at this time.