The Findon Sheep Fair and Village Festival is an annual event held in the beautiful West Sussex village of Findon, situated in the South Downs National Park. I have been working on an ongoing photography project to document rural life and decided to attend the event to take some photographs and hopefully make some new contacts, The fair can be dated back to 1261 when farmers would auction sheep on the site, but sadly this no longer happens (find out why here), so the auctions have been replaced by sheep judging competitions and a village festival.
As I walked around Nepcote Green, where the fair is held, I felt a real sense of community. Stalls were filled with local produce, rural crafts were on display and young families sat in the sunshine enjoying lunch, whilst watching falconry and sheepdog displays. As I took some photographs of a sheep shearing demonstration, I noticed a young girl gasp and a look of panic came over her face as she watched a sheep being sheared. On hearing this, one of the shearers explained to her that it needed to be done and that it didn't hurt the sheep at all "Its just like when you have your hair cut" the shearer explained. This soon made the girl smile. I left the shearers and wondered through the crowds creating my photographs. I stopped every now and again to talk, listen and ask a few questions. As I left the fair, stopping briefly to photograph some vintage tractors, I thought to myself how friendly everyone was and how important this sharing of knowledge and allowing people to experience new things is what really makes this fair so special. And with my head buzzing with ideas for future photographs I will create for my project with my newly found contacts, I thought to myself I will definitely come back next year.
Prints can be purchased via my photography print store. Till next time. Keep safe, your lenses sparkling and your mind open. Scott the photographer.
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