Return of St Crispin’s fair a concern for town shop

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Shop owners have raised concerns about how a new fair could affect their business during Halloween weekend.

St Crispin’s Street Fair will set up rides, stalls and games along Gold Street, Mercer’s Row, the events area in the Market Square and bottom end of Abington Street from Sunday, October 28 to Tuesday, October 30.

Mercer’s Row and Gold Street will be closed to traffic from midnight on October 27 until 6am on October 31, the taxi rank in Mercer’s Row will be temporarily relocated to Bradshaw Street, and there 
will be no parking in Dychurch Lane to facilitate emergency access.

Sandra Car, owner of Narnia fancy dress shop in Gold Street, said she was worried the fair would affect her business at her busiest time of year.

She said: “Halloween weekend is my busiest time of year and I make my money for the year from it. If I don’t do it this year I will have to close next year. Dumping a fairground in front of my window will affect me. People won’t want to come through all of the people and the fair to come into the shop.”

Ms Car, who opened the shop in June, added: “I am still building up a new client base and not everybody knows I am here so people looking for Halloween costumes won’t see my shop with the fair in the way.”

She said road closures would cause problems with stock deliveries and added: “There will be a trememdous amount of noise which will make it difficult to talk to customers and the smells from the food vans will get on the costumes.”

The fair is making a return to Northampton following a lengthy absence and thousands of people are expected to attend over the three days.

Organiser Albert Evans said he had been working with local businesses. He said: “When we have attended other street fairs they are really popular and bring people into town. I have been speaking to businesses and have to say that the vast majority are very supportive of the event and looking forward to it. There have been a couple of shops that have had concerns but I have made arrangements to resolve the issues by changing the layout of some of the rides and getting my people to help with deliveries.”