7 JUNE 1935, Page 16


A Lancastrian Fair The old English Fair (as well as the village fete) is reviving in various forms ; and perhaps the best and merriest form yet discovered is to the credit of Oxford. The O.R.C.C. (not to be confused with the Auk, which is a bird) has re-invented a Lancastrian Fair, celebrated in South Park, Oxford, on June 0th and 7th. It it likely to find imitators. The imme- diate object is to provide funds for the Preservation of Rural England ; but such a Fair is in itself an act of preservation. When Lady Tweedsmuir moved across the living chess board in regal guise—ineedit regina—she helped to preserve a tradition. Old words as well as old things are thus preserved : joust and gallimaufry as well as the tilt and the dance. William Morris tried (with imperfect success) to stage such a water joust in Oxford two generations ago. That was an artist's prank ; this is part of a real revival.