Wickham Horse Fair is set to officially return after a two-year Covid enforced hiatus.

The 800-year-old historic event, which usually attracts thousands of people from the travelling community nationwide, has been shelved over the past couple of years in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

After organisers reached an agreement with the Hampshire Constabulary, a ‘small symbolic event’ was authorised to take place last year in lieu of the cancellation.

However, residents and business owners were left frustrated as scores of travellers and their horses descended on the Hampshire village - forcing police to close multiple roads.

Despite the disruption, the fair has received the go-ahead for a full return, with organisers confirming via social media it will take place on Friday, May 20 this year. 

Bernice Wall, who coordinates the market stalls at the fair, said: "This is a Royal Charter fair, originally for the buying and selling of livestock, dating back centuries ago. These historic events are important for the town, the traders, the funfairs, and for the people who come along to enjoy the day – it is very unique.

“I organise the market traders and there is always a large variety of stalls and food available, these traders are keen to get back to working on a more guaranteed level, so it’s good news for everyone to see life returning back to normal. 

“It’s an exceptional market with many items you wouldn’t see in shops, some travel from as far as Ireland to attend. One never knows how many people will turn up until the day. But it’s a family day out, so weather permitting it should bounce back to the regular attendance.

“Credit has to go to the Test Valley police for all their hard work leading up to and throughout the event. They help make the fair a great day out for families to attend both locally and from afar.”

Wickham Horse Fair is a traditional event for the travelling community to sell and race ponies and horses.

The event also usually includes a funfair and market, which are typically installed in the village square.