Like clockwork each year, the 754-year-old Beaconsfield Charter Fair came back to Beaconsfield Old Town with its entertainment. 

It’s rides, sweet and fried food, games and stalls –  including one selling alive goldfish – attracted scores of cheery crowds of all ages against the backdrop of usually calm Old Town.

The stall and ride businesses spread out on the four ‘ends’, and first visitors poured in after 2pm on Tuesday May 10.

Every year, the fair returns on this same day, except when May 10 is a Sunday, and it will take place on the following Monday instead.

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The fair has been a part and parcel of the town’s life since 1269.

A legend says the fair must return each year, because if one year is skipped, it can never return.

Despite the seemingly large crowd, some stall holders reported slow business.

Ran by Tracy and Caroline, Caroline’s Diner, and its sweet treats, jumbo hotdogs and burgers, go back eight generations.

Tracy said: “The evening turned out nice so I’d hoped it would be busier than this.”

Sales at another food joint, Burger Planet, appeared busy, but its owner couple Elena and Michael Lock echoed Tracy’s words.

Elena Lock said: “It’s been a good day, but not as busy as normally.”

By normal she meant the better times before the Covid pandemic, which hit workers in the entertainment and seasonal sectors hard.  

Michael Lock said: “I’ve been coming here with my granddad, dad and now as business owners.

“Covid killed it, just one year, and dead, takings are down. It’s still not as busy as before the pandemic.

He was certain the fair would become as busy as it once was.

“It will, and we’ll keep on going!”

Back in 2020, a smaller token version of the fair not open to the public was symbolically placed in the heart of Beaconsfield to make sure the legendary rule is obeyed.

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During the pandemic, the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain raised concerns about livelihoods and impact of £20 million losses in the funfair industry on workers.

Ahead of this year’s event, the Charter Fair organisers were “looking forward to the showman lighting up the streets of Beaconsfield once again.”

However, some residents on social media raised concerns about possible 'mayhem'. 

Nick Naylor, Cabinet Member for Housing & Homelessness said: “The event organisers notified the Council’s Safety Advisory Group of the plans for this year’s Charter Fair in Beaconsfield, prior to the event. 

"The Safety Advisory Group is attended by various agencies including the fire, police, highways and environmental health. 

"No concerns were raised prior to the event, based upon experience of previous years.  Any issues the Council is made aware of will be reviewed as part of the plans for next year’s event.”

Jackson Ng, Beaconsfield Deputy Mayor, said he was delighted to have attended "our town’s amazing and famous Charter Fair this year again with my family." 

“Days like this bring out many young families from our town and neighbouring areas to enjoy and build upon our strong community spirit.

“Also importantly, it’s reminds us all that our town has a rich heritage and that we should safeguard our historical town from overdevelopment," he said.