The fayre takes place on the green, opposite the BladeBone pub, Chapel Row, Bucklebury and provides a great family day out as well as raising money for local charities.

The 2019 fayre will take place on Saturday 24th August (starts at 1pm) and we are looking forward to another fantastic day raising money for some excellent causes. This year we are supporting Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, West Berkshire Mencap, Newbury McMillan’s ,MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association) and ABF Soldier’s Charity.

A full 2019 programme will include Sheep Racing, Ferret Racing, Dog Show, Craft Tent, Fun Fair, Bouncy Castles, Tombolas, Raffles, Vintage Cars and many more displays and stalls.

Refreshments include Beer Tent, Tea Tent, Dave the Ice Cream Man, Graham’s fabulous Hog Roast, Home made Pizza, Burger Tent and Pimms Tent.

Entrance to the fayre and parking are both free so why not come along, bring the family, enjoy a cracking afternoon out and help us raise loads of money for some really worthwhile local causes.

The fayre takes place on the Chapel Row green by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Willie Hartley Russell.

The Charities

For 2019 our chosen charities are:

MNDA (Motor Nuerone Disease Association) – Lin Jenkins
MNDA do all that we can to enable everybody living with Motor Neurone Disease to receive the best care, achieve the highest possible quality of life and to die with dignity. Tel: 01604 250505 email: enquiries@mndaassociation/org

West Berkshire Mencap
We are a local charity that provides a wide range of services for people with learning disability including children’s services, family advice, sheltered employment and training, leisure activities and housing. Tel: 01635 41464 email:

Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice – Julia Philipson
ADCH funds Alexanders Nurses, who provide respite care in the home and other community settings. Making a real difference to local children with life limiting and life threatening conditions and their families in Berkshire. Tel: 01628 822777 email:

Newbury MacMillan’s – Erica Tipton
You may have cancer, but you are still you. Macmillan is here to help you get on with your life no matter what. We can give you the practical, emotional and genuinely personal support. The Macmillan team is here to help.  We offer local services delivered by our trained volunteers that can give you a helping hand. The service is available Monday to Friday, 8am – 7.30pm and weekends by arrangement. For further information about how the Macmillan  Berkshire Direct Volunteering Scheme can help you, please call 01904 756 402 or email We have helped millions of people through cancer and we can do the same for you. From the moment you are diagnosed, for as long as you need us, you can lean on Macmillan. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity – Peter Walker
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is the National Charity of the British Army, providing a lifetime of support to soldiers, veterans and their immediate families in times of need. It gives financial assistance to individuals as well as makes grants to a large number of charities and partner organisations that provide specialist support on its collective behalf. The Charity’s work touches the lives of around 70,000 people each year. Contact Peter at  or on 01189 712409.

Thank you for making the Chapel Row Fayre so much fun and so successful for its charities.

The History of The Fayre

The Chapel Row Fayre has a very long and colourful history. In fact a fayre in the area was mentioned in the Domesday book.

The fayre used to take place every year on 26th July, St Anne’s Day and reached national prominence in the 18th and 19th century when it hosted Backswording competitions. Backswording was a rather violent sport where two combatants would try and hit eachother over the head with cudgels in order to draw blood. The first to draw an inch of blood was declared the winner. Local competitors would compete at Chapel Row for a grand prize of 5 guineas against the likes of Blackford, regarded as the finest backsworder of his day and Uriah Wall, the champion of Somerset.

One of the most popular competitors to appear at Chapel Row was Corporal Shaw. As well as being a soldier in the Life Guards, Shaw was a famous prize fighter. A few years after appearing at the Chapel Row fayre Corporal Shaw fought and died at the Battle of Waterloo. His endeavours in the battle are commemorated in the words of Sir Walter Scott.

1812 - The Mercury

In July 1812 the Reading Mercury advertised the fayre as an opportunity for buying and selling cattle and for hiring of harvest men.

Backswording competitions were eventually outlawed in the 19th century and the Chapel Row fayre eventually disappeared off the Berkshire calendar.

In 1991 Bucklebury Football Club decided to resurrect the Chapel Row Fayre as a charity event.

Lots of people from the local community got involved and the first fayre was a big success. A feature of the early fayres were the anarchic ‘It’s a Knockout’ Competitions that took place in the central arena.

1991 - The Resurrection of the Fayre

The re-launch of the fayre in 1991 is captured in these reports in the Blade Bone News:

Blade Bone News Issue 107      Blade Bone News Issue 108

With each year that passed the fayre grew with more and more stalls being added.  2006 was a record year and £12,000 was raised for the principal charities Macmillan Nurses and Daisy’s Dream.

Today the fayre is firmly established as a great day out on the August Bank holiday with visitors descending on Chapel Row from far and wide to enjoy the many stalls, see the vintage cars, enjoy one of Graham’s famous Hog Roasts or to bet on the chaotic sheep and duck racing.

2001 - The Non-Runners

In 2001 the foot and mouth restrictions meant that the sheep racing could not take place. Instead races were held for pantomime horses with Jenny Pitman providing expert commentary. On a hot day a few competitors spent too long in the beer tent and unfortunately race performances suffered as the day progressed!

Every year the fayre, with the help of the many volunteers, local businesses and of course the many visitors, raises a load of money for local charities.

So this year why not come along enjoy a great (free) family day out, help raise money for charity and be a part of the historic Chapel Row Fayre.

Acknowledgement and thanks go to the following:

David Nash Ford’s excellent Royal Berkshire History website and its account of the .

Cecilia Millson – Author of “Bucklesbury’s Heritage”

2007 - Jonny Saunders

The 2007 fayre was doubly blessed. As well as having our very own MC Mark Wallace commentating on events, we also had Radio 2's Jonny Saunders guesting on the mic. This resulted in the Chapel Row Fayre getting national radio coverage on the Chris Evans show....

Friends Of The Fayre

Every year local businesses and organisations provide a great deal of support for the Chapel Row fayre and donate very generous raffle prizes. Here are some of the Friends of the Fayre. Thank you for your generosity.

FP-IMS – Berkshire’s number one supplier of franking machines and mailroom equipment. To start saving money on your mailroom costs.

Bucklebury Estates – The Bucklebury Estate is the oldest landed Estate in Berkshire and one of the oldest Estates in the country.

Donnington Valley Golf Club – the friendliest golf club in the area. Great golf course set in beautiful rolling countryside, grade II listed clubhouse, hotel, spa and bars.

Spotlight Entertainment – Spotlight Entertainment has been providing TOP class entertainment and Event Management Services for over 24 years. Based locally, we provide a full package of entertainment and leisure services for private or corporate clients nationwide. For more details, contact Lynette on 07966 172318 or email

Tutts Clump Cider – Tutts Clump Cider is a family business that was set up in 2006 by Tim Wale making award-winning Cider with 100% juice from Real fruit.

Building a new ultrafast broadband network in rural areas. Providing fibre directly to the property and not just to the cabinet, they are able to offer speeds up to 33 times faster* than the UK average. The company has also begun trialling 5Gbps broadband speeds for its business customers, which will be the UK’s fastest Internet package. Gigaclear builds networks using commercial investment but it is also the first ISP, other than BT, to be awarded contracts as part of the Government-subsidised BDUK programme. It has delivered to over 20,000 properties to date in Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland. *Based on Ofcom’s review of UK broadband speeds published 1st December 2015.

Chapel Row Fayre Blog

Chapel Row Fayre

Please check back here for information on the Chapel Row Fayre.

Find The Chapel Row Fayre

The fayre takes place on the green opposite the BladeBone pub in Chapel Row, Nr Newbury / Thatcham

There is plenty of free parking available which is well sign-posted around the fayre.

For sat nav users, the postcode RG7 6PD will bring you to the fayre.

Contact Us

We are always on the look out for extra people to help run the stalls at the fayre.

If you would like to help out or if you have any questions about the fayre, please contact us using the form.