The historic Beaconsfield Charter Fair has returned to the Old Town today - but some people have branded its arrival a "bad idea" amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

The historic fair has returned to the four 'ends' in the Old Town for the 752nd year in a row, closing off the town centre - which this year coincides with roadworks closing nearby Ledborough Lane as well, causing a traffic nightmare. 

Every year since 1269, the charter fair takes place on May 10 – except when that date is a Sunday, and then it will be held on the following Monday.

It has never yet missed a date – and according to the charter, if it does, it can never return.

To get round this, a much smaller token version of the iconic fair – which was not open to the public – was “symbolically” placed in the quiet street on May 11 in 2020.

But the fair has returned in its full form this year, opening to the public from 2pm to 10.30pm, which has raised some concerns among residents on social media. 

Paul Lawes wrote on Twitter: "The fair going ahead is a disaster. The town is gridlocked today as Ledborough Lane is also closed. 

"Covid numbers will spike and all for a burger and a ride on the bumper cars." 

Newly-elected town councillor Colette Brown added: "Seems like a bad idea frankly. Let's see what tomorrow brings. Personally not going anywhere near it." 

Back in April, Alison Wheelhouse - who was elected as a Buckinghamshire councillor at the weekend - wrote: "The charter fair signs are up in the Old Town? Is it really going ahead? What are the Covid safe arrangements? Many are concerned about this." 

But the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, London and Home Counties has insisted the fair is completely Covid-secure and has announced a raft of safety measures. 

They said they had "detailed negotiations and discussions" with Buckinghamshire Council and the Hall Barn Estate before the event. 

They said: "The fair will have plenty of stewards at the entrances to the ‘Ends’ (roads) to explain procedures and to assist with the NHS Test & Trace procedure, whereby visitors (over the age of 16) interact their smartphone with the fair’s unique QR code (as takes place in local shops). There is a paper version of this for those without smartphones.

"Visitors should stay within their family household bubbles as they tour the attractions of the fair and there are further stewards to assist them; in addition to there being hand-sanitising stations throughout the fair.

"While entry at Beaconsfield Charter Fair is free, it will be controlled to ensure that there is plenty of room for family household groups to  move freely and maintain social distancing, in the fresh air.

"Each of the rides and attractions has enhanced cleaning regimes and this will continue throughout the fair, with individual entrance and exit arrangements  to ease the flow of customers."

The Beaconsfield Charter Fair comes nearly a month after the successful Blackheath fair in London over the bank holiday weekend and the Showmen's Guild says 69 other fairs have been held safely since April 12.