Charlton’s Horn Fair returns with pandemic photography competition

Blackheath Newbridge club - keep washing your hands, stay safe signs
The Blackheath Newbridge club on Charlton Road last April
The Horn Fair will return to Charlton House next month after a year away – with its organisers promising that it “will celebrate life across Greenwich after a considerable time apart”.

Residents are being asked to submit photos of life during the pandemic to the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust so that a selection can be displayed at the fair. “Whether it’s a photo of a family at home, a street scene clapping carers, or a local market standing empty, the primary requirement is that photos represent the pandemic as it was from the perspective of the photographer, amateur or professional,” the trust says.

Photos can be submitted by anyone, whether or not they live in the area, but must have been taken in the borough of Greenwich from March 2020 to the present day. The deadline for submissions is this Sunday at 11.59pm. Images may also be added to the borough archive, entrants can also win an afternoon tea for two.

The Green Goddess pop-up pub will also be open, while the Collectors dance trio will also be performing their Picture Me There show inspired by life in Charlton. There will also be “musicians and artisan creators from across the borough”,

The free event will run from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 17 October. For more information and to enter the photography competition, visit the trust’s website.


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How was 2018’s Horn Fair at Charlton House?

Charlton House Horn Fair 2018

The Charlton Champion is grateful to LARA RUFFLE COLES for sending us her photos, videos and observations from Sunday’s Horn Fair event at Charlton House:

Even though the grey and rainy weather may have stopped some from venturing outside, this year’s Horn Fair at Charlton House was lively and entertaining – if not as bustling as 2017.

My favourite element of the day was the live music from the Royal Air Force Cadets, The Friends’ Musick and the Horn Fair Players. The music generated a very warm and inviting atmosphere, and it was wonderful to hear the music floating around the house as you moved from room to room.

The range of stalls was more arts and crafts than food, this was a bit disappointing as last year there were more food stalls including a really good quality smoked salmon stall selling sandwiches. Only chocolate, honey, coffee and Caribbean food was on offer, and The Giggly Pig Company had already packed up when I arrived at peak eating time just before 2pm. We couldn’t find Wandercrust Pizza, unfortunately; the tea rooms were open, but I would have liked to scoff down a few slices of pizza!

If you ventured outside, visitors were able to have a good nosy round the newly reopened Summer House. The main room and undercroft (also a WWII air raid shelter) could be viewed, and panels were on display detailing the recent refurbishment.

This year’s theme was the hundred year anniversary of Charlton House opening as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) hospital – which felt a little odd given the Horn Fair’s previous reputation as a bawdy and debauched affair! It might have better to focus on the upcoming Armistice centenary as a whole, and the VAD theme didn’t feel very present as you moved from room to room. The theme also seemed at odds with the commercial aspects of the event.

However, balancing the commercial and educational parts of any charitable organisation is always tricky, and is something that the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – only established four years ago – is still working on.

More importantly, we should all be supporting events like the Horn Fair as they allow charities to keep beautiful and historically vital buildings like Charlton House open for all of us to enjoy. Roll on 2019!

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Horn Fair 2018: Charlton House needs you

Charlton House

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is looking for people to get involved with this year’s Horn Fair – taking place on Sunday 14th October, which will be themed around the 100-year anniversary of Charlton House opening as a World War I voluntary aid detachment hospital in 1918.

You can get in touch with the trust by email at office[@] or by telephone on 020 8856 3951.

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