Great Britain

Lone traveller treks 200 miles to Appleby despite annual horse fair being cancelled as he ‘just wanted to be there’


A LONE traveller trekked 200 miles to Appleby despite its annual horse fair being cancelled because he "just wanted to be there."

Thousands usually descend on the traditional annual gathering of gypsies and travellers which was called off this year due to coronavirus so Kenneth Redhead rocked up as the only visitor.

The Cumbrian market town has a population of around 3,000 and in previous years was flooded with 10,000 travellers plus an extra 30,000 visitors for the four-day event.

As the biggest horse fair in Europe it brings in 1,000 caravans and several hundred horse-drawn vehicles which are spread across three main campsites.

Horses would be washed and trotted up Appleby's iconic flashing lane most days while stalls pop up in the market square selling traditional goods and horse-related products.

But this year Kenneth, known as Pont, arrived to empty streets.

He travelled up in a transit van from King's Lynn, Norfolk - approximately a four-hour drive - for what would have been the start of festivities.

The event was due to start today and go through until Sunday.

Kenneth, who attended the event for the past 15 years, said he turned up because he "just wanted to be there."

But that was not the only reason he made the trek as he told others he also needed to pick up some fertiliser.

The traveller, photographed by where one of the main campsites would be, reportedly did not stay in the area long after having a look around although it is unknown if he left completely.

The fair has previously courted controversy for the mess left behind, violent crime and animal cruelty.

In 2014 over 100 were arrested following a mass brawl breaking out, with the worst incident on the final day as rival gangs clashed.

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