‘Llanblethian Pleasure Fair’
This event was held annually ‘from time immemorial’ on the Green near the Cross on Easter Monday, ‘when the village and neighbouring lads and lasses assembled for physical and social pleasure, dancing to the music of such primitive instruments as the tin whistle or concertina, and regaling themselves with the simple refreshments of the time provided by elderly dames of the village, the last of whom were Sarah George and Kitty Harding. In those days, home made cake, nuts and sweets were a luxury. This annual festival evidently expired prior to the year 1860, for about that year it had become known as Kitty Harding’s fair, held in her cottage near the present Malthouse. I remember being taken to her fair by a nurse from the village on one occasion. I don’t think the cottage exists today. It had a very capacious hearth, with stone seats on each side under the chimney, which were appropriated by the older boys while cracking jokes and nuts, and consuming the small but primitive luxuries sold at the table at the side of the room. These were the days of corduroy and fustian.
An effort was made after this to revive the fair near the Cross by Mrs Fanny Williams, the wife of Thomas Williams of Hill Cottage, but it did not succeed. Thus ended an annual function which probably had continued for ages, played out possibly by the growth of education and refining influences and the development of more elevating attractions.’
Written in a letter during 1923 to The Revd. L Hopkin James, Vicar of Cowbridge and Llanblethian, by E W Miles, solicitor of Cowbridge.
The tail end of the ‘Mabsant’, a patronal festival of the parish from early times, which died out by the mid 19th century. It tended to get violent and boozy and was consequently discouraged!