A band, a pig and a village fair is reborn

New committee of reformed Clifton Village Community Association.
New committee of reformed Clifton Village Community Association.

THE annual Faffen Fuffen fair is set to be revived in Clifton this summer.

Celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in the village last year rekindled interest in community activities in Clifton and led to suggestions that the fair should be held again.

Clifton Village Community Association has been re-formed, under the chairmanship of Andrew Russell of the Black Horse, with the aim of encouraging community life in the village.

Mr Russell said the success of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, inspired by the Rev Stephanie Jenner and attended by more than 600 people, had contributed to a revival of community spirit.

The sad death of farmer Mr Charlie Ingle, lifelong Clifton resident and stalwart of the Faffen Fuffen fair, while plans were being made for the Jubilee celebrations had also had a profound effect.

“Charlie Ingle was a fine character in the village and people reminisced about his involvement in the community at all levels.

“All these events seemed to harness a desire for community involvement and it was decided that such energy should not be wasted. Before we knew where we were, the Clifton Village Community Association had been rekindled and it was agreed we would continue with the objectives of the original association, established in 1978, to further community life.”

The association’s committee helped sell tickets for Clifton Rangers’ bonfire in November and is keen to promote other village activities, including the revived Faffen Fuffen fair in June.

An annual part of village life during the years after the second world war, the fair had mostly died out by the 1980s though it was revived in 1983, 1994 and 2002.

The fair had its origins in the comic village bands which grew up alongside the famous West Yorkshire brass bands in the 19th and 20th centuries. In Clifton the band was known as Faffen Fuffen.

Homemade instruments such as combs and paper, kettles, pans, whistles and kazoos were popular.

The story grew that in the 1920s a farmer lifted a pig onto the wall to hear the band go past. It was a custom Charlie Ingle was happy to perpetuate and he willingly supplied the pig.

Mr Russell said: “We are hoping to hold the Faffen Fuffen fair in some form in June. We don’t want to be too ambitious and take on more than we can cope with but it’s almost certain that there will be a fair in some form this year.”