I was invited to the Riding of the Fair in Yarm today - the civic event that marks many hundreds of years of a charter fair on the High Street.
We began with prayers, the singing of Jerusalem and a blessing on the dodgems, as you do.
The civic party was drawn by a steam engine around the centre of the town, stopping at key points for a proclamation to be read by Cllr Peter Monck, Chairman of the Town Council, accompanied by bailiff and horn blower.
Finally there was a lovely lunch in the Fellowship Hall where we were addressed by a great range of dignitaries including office holders from the Showmen's Guild.
Throughout my teens Yarm Fair was unquestionably the highlight of the year; the rides, the crowds, the lights, the music and the fortune telling. We looked forward to it more than anything else.
It was a privilege to see it from another and different angle today. Thanks so much to Yarm Town councillors for the invitation and to Marjorie Simpson for her warm words.