PACKED crowds and hordes of excited children bore testimony to the enduring appeal of Cardigan Fair as the traditional November event made a triumphant return to town last night.

Ceredigion County Council’s recent £6000,000 purchase of the Fairfield had raised question marks over the future of Studt’s Funfair in town – although owner Vernon Studt was quick to scotch rumours Cardigan Fair was living on borrowed time.

And it was business as usual last night as the unfettered enthusiasm of those attending showed what the town had missed during the ‘Covid year’ of 2020, while highlighting the perennial attraction of what remains one of the key dates in the town calendar after more than 150 years.

“It was a pleasure to once more welcome Vernon and his colleagues from the Showman’s Guild to our town,” Cllr Clive Davies told the Tivy-Side.

“The impact the fair has on Cardigan is very positive, attracting an audience and footfall from a wide area.

“During the evening Cardigan cafes and shops stayed open for an extra few hours while the main streets had the annual street market, which since 2018 has changed focus with emphasis now on attracting more small local traders.

“This year the Carnival Group and Cardigan Town Council took the reins to organise and cover the cost of the event.

“Let us hope that Cardigan Fair continues to visit and develop for many years to come!”

Deputy mayor Cllr Sian Maehrlein officially declared Cardigan Fair at lunchtime – thereby welcoming back a town institution dating all the way back to 1837: the year Queen Victoria ascended the throne.

Mr Studt proceeded to present a Showman’s Guild of Great Britain honorary award to Aberporth’s Richard Williams; for so long Cardigan Fair’s ‘Mr Fixit’.

“The only other Cardigan man to have received this accolade is Mr Keith Ladd,” Mr Studt told onlookers.

Accepting the award, Mr Williams replied: “I have thoroughly enjoyed helping out at the Fair over the past few years and like to think I will continue to be able to do so for many more.”

Mr Studt said: ““It’s a pleasure for us, as always, to be back in Cardigan.”

Click on the gallery above to see the brilliant pictures from Stuart Ladd.