QUESTIONS about the future of Pinner Fair have been raised by traders who suffered a loss of business by closing during the event.
The 700-year-old event is run by The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain and was enjoyed by hundreds of revellers on Wednesday last week in Bridge Street, High Street and part of Marsh Road.
In his column in this week’s Observer, Harrow’s police borough commander, Superintendent Simon Ovens, declared it ‘a crime-free event’.
However, up to half of shops and restaurants closed voluntarily during the day and some traders have questioned whether it is benefiting the local community.
Terry Farr, who owns Friends in High Street and is a member of Pinner Rotary Club and owner of, kept his restaurant closed.
“I do not know enough about the economics of the event, and I wouldn’t want to spark an expensive round of local government consultations to review it, but in my simplistic view, putting on an event, something akin to the now annual Pinner Pantomime Evening and which was not just a glorified funfair, may be cheaper and certainly more acceptable to the local business community and residents.
“Even given the loss suffered by those businesses having to close for the day, and to some extent the previous evening during the set-up, I feel the fair has a rightful place in the Pinner calendar, but I would prefer to enjoy it rather than avoid it.”
Jeremy Scott, manager and owner of BAway travel agents in Bishops Walk, discovered on the morning after the fair that his shop window had been broken, causing nearly £400 of damage.
The business has been relocated from the High Street temporarily, while the premises there is being refurbished. He believes the walk-through is ‘quite exposed’.
“I am really annoyed about this. It would never have happened if the fair wasn’t here. It’s annoying because I am now out of pocket, which is so unfair,” he said.
“I think I am the only shop that got damaged this year.”
Harrow Police confirmed the report of the smashed window, but a spokeswoman said there was nothing to suggest it was linked directly to Pinner Fair.
Anjay Ramanlal, who lives in Pinner, told the Observer: “I find the fair not only a distraction, but also intimidating, with all the youths hanging around. It just doesn’t feel like you are in Pinner during this event.”
Mr Scott added: “Although I live in Pinner, I don’t go to the fair as it brings in some unsavoury characters.”
The event is protected by a royal charter, granted in 1336, which states that if the fair does not take place one year the village will lose the right to host it subsequently.
No one from The Showmen’s Guild, which has reported a low attendance compared with last year, was available for comment before we went to press.
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