The Most recent photos are near the bottom of the page. Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through them all.
Jane Henley has written a recent history of the Shows and Feasts that you can read here.
Seaton Ross Feast – 1905
Seaton Ross Feast – inter war
Seaton Ross Show – 1950s
Seaton Ross Show – 1983
Seaton Ross Show – 1980s & ~2000
Feast Organising Committee
THE FOLLOWING COPY IS OF AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY THE LATE CHARLES PRESTON, OLD MILLS, SEATON ROSS, IN 1926. HE WAS THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE SEATON ROSS FEAST COMMITTEE.
THE VILLAGE FEAST.
The present is the time of the ancient village feasts. There are two periods in the year that never fail to arouse interest among all classes of resident in our country villages. One is Christmas, the other the time of the Feast. In the village of Seaton Ross, in which the writer of these notes has spent over 60 years, the annual and time-honoured event always falls on the first Sunday after June 29th, St. Peters Day. It would be very interesting if that great authority on country life, past and present, Mr Fairfax-Blakeborough, could inform us how it arises that the Parish Church is dedicated to St. Edmund, King and Martyr, while the Feast is held in Connection with Saint Peter’s Day.
There have been many changes during the past fifty years, some customs have died out, new styles of recreation and amusement have been introduced, but the old time Feast and the spirit which keeps it alive lives on. In many respects, the conduct of the general public has certainly improved. Within the memory of the writer, grievances contracted during the preceding months were accumulated, and when the Feast came round, fortified by Dutch Courage, stimulated by the aid of John Barleycorn, many pugilistic encounters were witnessed by way of settling differences, real or imaginary. That is now a thing of the past and during recent years a more sensible and sober way of enjoying the annual festival has made it better for all concerned.
As has been already said, many changes have taken place. As the year circle round, we seem to be coming back to some of the customs of long years ago. The writer can just remember when the principal item was a programme of horse races, run in the grass field of Mains Farm, and at that time the old folks used to tell how horse races were run round the common before the same was enclosed and cultivated.
In the seventies of the last century, Handicap foot races became the fashion. The landlord of one of the village inns would offer £5 to run for in heats and a final. Entrance fee one shilling, also what was called an acceptance fee of six pence was charged, and as there was generally about 100 entries, the village inn keeper did very well, especially when the increased consumption of alcoholic beverages was taken into account.
After a run of probably ten or fifteen years, the custom began to die away, and seeing that it was no longer possible for one individual to organise the sports for the Feast, a committee was formed in the village of Seaton Ross in 1895, and since then the event has been successfully carried on to the present time. For those who love to see horses compete, an extensive programme has been arranged for Monday next July the 5th, and on Tuesday the annual show of Garden and Agricultural Products will be held together with a programme of old-time athletic sports for children and others.
Doubtless the annual celebration of the village Feast will be open in some respects to criticism, by those who are always ready to point out the failings and drawbacks of all engaged in public work, but one thing is beyond dispute, and that is the houses and gardens and general appearance of every village. Wherever there is an Annual Feast they are smartened up in a way they would never know if it was not for the Feast.
All photos are from the collections of Bessie Fridlington, Dave Waby and Jane Henley unless otherwise attributed. If you have other photos or clearer copies that we could include – please contact us.