IT is hoped that an on-line medieval market will be the start of a good run for shops and traders in Ludlow.

Because of Covid-19 the market and lights switch on that traditionally marks the start of Christmas in the town could not go ahead as normal this year.

Open until Christmas Day is the Fayre online marketplace, where visitors will find exhibitors selling Christmas gifts and treats, along with a host of interviews and “how to guides” to get ready for the festive season.

Online audience members logged on for the Medieval Fayre around the world, including fans in the USA and Europe who wanted to be part of the celebrations.

Now organisers are calling on fans of the annual event, which sees Ludlow Castle host an immersive Middle Ages spectacle, to donate to ensure the Fayre can return in better times, hopefully in its usual live format in November 2021.

For more than 20 years the annual weekend of activities and performances has attracted up to 18,000 visitors to begin their Christmas countdown with live fun and hearty food.

The live highlights included the battle between chivalric heroes in the popular Tournament of Knights, along with a reading from Ludlow author Marianne Rosen, who has launched her debut novel The Doors of Riverdell.

Mother and daughter team Prue and Abi Dakin, who run Shropshire-based independent company Dakin Events, organised the Fayre.

Supported by leading local businesses and regular performers, they were determined to deliver the Fayre online.

“We have had fantastic feedback from those who watched online, with some very supportive comments from people who appreciated our commitment to deliver the Fayre after such a difficult year,” said Abi Dakin.

“One couple who come every year sent us a photo of themselves sitting on their sofa drinking mulled wine and enjoying the performances, which was wonderful to see.

“The exhibitors were excellent and really got into the spirit of recreating their usual live presentations through the website. We were incredibly grateful for the support of all our partners and everyone who helped bring it together.”