Why Ilkeston Charter Fair could get an extra day

Official launch of Ilkeston Charter Fair
Official launch of Ilkeston Charter Fair

A request has been made to extend the Ilkeston Charter Fair by an extra day – but it will need approval from the Government.

The extension would allow rides and stalls to remain open on the Sunday of the fair week, however due to historic law this would need the approval of the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid.

Members of the Erewash Borough Council’s executive will meet on Tuesday, September 4 to discuss whether action will go ahead on the proposal put forward by the Showman’s Guild.

This year’s fair will run as usual from Wednesday October 17, from 6pm-11pm, then Thursday, Friday and Saturday 12noon-11pm. The Showman’s Guild claims a number of fairs across the country have extended operating days to Sundays and they would like to see this happen in Ilkeston.

However, a report going to the council executive confirms that the historic nature of Ilkeston Fair and the granting of the Royal Charter in 1252 means there is a legal process that has to be followed – the council cannot decide to simply add an additional day to the Charter Fair.

Councillors will hear how a failure by the council to follow this process and obtain the required order from the Home Secretary to extend the fair by one day could result in the historic Charter being repealed and taken away from the town. Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s lead member for culture and leisure, said: “The granting of the Charter for Ilkeston Fair is a piece of history, something which makes the annual fair so very special – including the reading of the original Charter at the ceremonial opening of this traditional street fair.

“There is a legal path laid down for any request to extend the opening days and this must be followed - we cannot put the Charter at risk.”

If councillors decide to go ahead with consultation, the results of that will then be taken to a future council executive meeting for consideration.

The meeting of executive is at Long Eaton Town Hall on Tuesday September 4 at 10.30am.