Coventry & Warwickshire

Traders want Warwick Mop fair moved out of town

Some businesses in Warwick have said they want the annual Mop Fair to move from the town centre over claims it damages trade.

The Market Place and nearby streets are filled with fairground rides and stalls for the first two weekends in October.

The chamber of trade said a district council survey showed 80% of businesses felt it had "outgrown the town".

The organisers of the Mop said they did not want to break the tradition of staging the fair in the town.

Sue Butcher, chair of the chamber of trade, said: "It is too big for the confines of the town and it should move to somewhere like the racecourse or St Nicholas Park.

"Trade suffers because regular customers do not come into town because they're put off."

Licence review

Charlie Collett, who runs Wylies Ironmongers said: "We feel like we're barricaded in by the fair.

"No deliveries can get in or out, customers are tripping over cables everywhere, for those two weekends you don't see a soul."

Organiser Tommy Wilson said: "It's a traditional event that goes back 700 years.

"The people of Warwick embrace it, I don't understand why local businesses don't support the Mop, it brings trade to the coffee shops, the chip shops."

Warwick District Council said it received 2,000 replies to its consultation survey carried out as part of a review into the fair's licence.

It said a panel of councillors would review people's responses and decide "what form any new licence should take" by August.

The fair dates back to the reign of King Edward III and began as post-harvest hiring fairs for employers.

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