About this site and the Cloth Fair group

Development of this website was sparked by City councillor Matthew Bell’s ideas for re-staging Bartholomew Fair in 2023 to coincide with the Barts 900 celebrations for St Bartholomew the Great and Barts Hospital. Matthew wrote an article for the EC1 Echo in June 2022, and I added ideas about how digital technology could enhance people’s experience of a Fair, and also help people engage with the area at other times. We were amazed and delighted when the City Corporation decided to invest £1.3 million in a City-wide Spectacular Fair in September 2023 as part of their Destination City programme

Matthew lives in Cloth Fair, where the fair originated, and invited other councillors and residents to his house at 41-42, celebrated as the oldest inhabited house in the City, to develop further ideas. We discussed how to bring some of the spirit of the original Fair to the Spectacular, and I continued to blog about what might be possible with maps and digital media.

By this time another councillor, John Foley, was working pro bono with publisher Jeannine Saba to produce the first edition of a new magazine for the City – the City Courant. It was received enthusiastically – so why not produce a Souvenir Edition for Bartholomew Fair – and Cloth Fair? As Jeannine reports on the welcome page, development was enthusiastically supported by the the Cloth Fair group, including Brendan Barns, Yvonne Courtney, John Griffith and Eamonn Mullally. Destination City stepped in to provide funding.

Jeannine generously agreed that we could use any of the content in the Souvenir Edition for the website, and so I have experimented with ways in which pdfs of the magazine can be embedded in a WordPress site and blended with other material. It is a voluntary effort, and could certainly be improved with more professional input. Any offers welcome. David Wilcox david@socialreporter.com. My earlier blog posts at Connections.