Children flock to St Ives for Michaelmas Fair

YOUNGSTERS from schools across St Ives flocked to the town centre for the opening of Michaelmas fair on Monday.

The three-day festival, which continues until tonight (Wednesday, October 12) is traditionally opened by St Ives Town Councillors distributing two-pence coins to local school-children.

The town council came under fire a few years ago when members were told to no longer toss or throw the coins because of health and safety fears.

Town clerk Alison Melnyczak said councillors were now advised to distribute the coins gently.

The history of Michaelmas fair dates back to the Middle Ages, though the tradition of coin-throwing at the start of the fair only started in the 1920s.

The custom was imported from the Midsummer Fair in Cambridge along with the reading of the fair charter.

nPictured is St Ives Mayor Martin Collier. Picture by