Final curtain for Forde Abbey Fair

The Forde Abbey Fair committee presents cheques to Riding for the Disabled and Royal Agricultural Be

The Forde Abbey Fair committee presents cheques to Riding for the Disabled and Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute. Picture: Kayenne Marketing - Credit: Archant

After more than 40 years – and having raised some £500,000 for charity - the annual Forde Abbey summer fair is to end.

Organisers announced this week that last July's event was the final one.

The popular fair, organised by the owners of the historic house, the Roper and Kennard family, with the help of a volunteer committee, has provided funds for many worthy causes.

This year, £26,000 was raised and shared between two charities - Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute (RABI) and Riding for the Disabled, including carriage driving (RDA).

Alice Kennard said: "We are immensely proud of what has been achieved but feel that the fair has run its course and to stop it while it is at the top of its game is the right decision.

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"The family and the committee would like to express their sincere thanks to all the volunteers, the businesses and entertainers that have traded at the fair and the wider community who have supported the event over the years - your support is very much appreciated.

"We have thoroughly enjoyed working with everybody and in particularly working with and alongside the charities that we have supported."

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On behalf of the charities, Pam Wills, from the RABI, said: "We have nothing but praise for the work and support that the Roper and Kennard family and the volunteers have given us over the years.

"The monies raised from the annual fair have been a vital contribution to the work of the charities involved."

The Forde Abbey estate is on the Devon and Dorset border, around five miles north of Hawkchurch.

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