Strong traditions and secure future for Warwick Mop

Warwick Mop pictures ENGNNL00120130310121503
Warwick Mop pictures ENGNNL00120130310121503

Warwick Mop will remain in place for the next 10 years and build stronger links with its roots - despite calls for the historic fair to be relocated.

The 700-year-old celebration sees the Market Place and town centre streets filled with fairground rides and stalls for two weekends every October.

Its future was threatened after calls for it to be relocated safety reasons. But the historic fair’s future in the town centre is now secure until 2025 after Warwick District Council officers agreed a new lease.

The new terms come with a ban on giving live animals as prizes, and an allowance for a careers stall - all in hope of taking the event back to its roots as a hiring fair.

Event organiser, Tommy Wilson said: “The Mop is an important part of Warwick’s, and the Showmen’s, history and tradition. We are looking forward to being a continued part of its future in the town.”

Warwick Town Council has welcomed the renewed future for the fair which is opened by the town mayor each year and helps bring in thousands of pounds for mayoral charities.

Town clerk, Derek Maudlin said: “We have always been of the very strong opinion that the Mop should remain in its central location.

“This is a great town tradition and the motto of the council is to hold traditions.

“This fair brings a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people as well as generating income for the mayoral charities, and should be retained for future generations. It also goes a great job of bringing people into the town centre.”

A district council consultation was held last year where 450 residents and 39 businesses had their say.

Fears were raised that several fear the town’s historic buildings were being harmed by vibrations created by the increasingly large fairground rides in close proximity.

Others worried about the damage caused by huge lorries navigating the eight narrow streets and Market Place.

As a result, some councillors and residents have suggested the event be moved onto Warwick Racecourse.

And an “overwhelming majority” of visitors surveyed at the Mop said they did not feel the fair should remain in its current location.

Almost half of the businesses questioned said they liked the charity aspect and mayoral hog roast, and almost 80 per cent agreed the fair should be relocated.

Of residents surveyed, just under half said the fair had a negative impact on their quality of life and should be moved away from the town centre.

District councillor Stephen Cross said: “We are happy to welcome back the Mop to Warwick as a traditional event.

“The renewal shows our commitment to keeping this tradition alive and we hope that residents and visitors to the fair will continue to enjoy it for many ears to come.”