East Anglian Arts Trust

EAAT was the formal structure of the fairs scene. Formed in 1971 with the intention of developing an arts centre. Barsham Medieval Faire planned as a main fund raiser.


From 1975:


"All History is Bunk" - Henry Ford .

Once upon a time, a group of friends sat round a table (at a pub) and planned to hold a mediaeval craft fair. In order to convince themselves that they were worthy and efficient, they called themselves the East Anglian Arts Trust. In order to raise some cash they each contributed £10. This was in 1971.

In 1972 they held an art auction to raise more cash, with which, together with hope, enthusiasm and luck, they mounted the first Barsham Faire. To the amazement of all (not least the organisers) this was an enormous success.

Click on the picturefor more images

Many different people came to an event which excited and delighted, and we even made a profit. In a surge of optimism we established a monthly community newspaper, the Waveney Clarion,

1973 opened with a performance by the Lowestoft Theatre Centre of their amazing 'Alice' at Beccles, with free buses provided from outlying villages. In April, we subsidised the Lowestoft SAP Festival (films, dance, music, theatre) and celebrated spring at Beccles with more music and dancing. We contributed to the Norwich Folk Festival and the Clarion Travelling Circus which spread anarchy and excitement through events at village hails, In August, Bungay survived a day-long open-air folk/rock concert and later that month twenty-two thousand people came to the second Barsham Faire, Over three magical days, we combined crafts, music, theatre, food, drink, games, fireworks, animals and people in a festival of summer delights. With the profits we played cricket and bought a van for the Lowestoft Theatre Centre.

1974 began with free buses to a free performance of "The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner" - a devious saga of local politics. We loaned cash to the village of East Harling for their 500th Anniversary Fair, launched an ecolog-ical study of the region, painted murals on blank school walls and sent performers to local playgroups. The Waveney Clarion Travelling Circus celebrated spring at all times of the year and the Village Events Project took theatre and inflatables to local fetes and carnivals. There was another day of rock and merriment at Bungay and Harry's Big Balloonz invaded the streets. The third Barsham Faire opened in blazing sunshine and closed in pouring rain. Between times, over thirty thousand people (never forgetting Walter Cornelius) joined in everything from dwile-flonking to the cosmic dance torchlight theatre. We made a fill of the Faire, showed it to all and sundry, installed a telephone for the Waveney Clarion, re-surfaced the lane to Barsham church, rang the bells and collapsed in exhaustion after the Barsham Feast,

In 1975 the Lowestoft Theatre Centre's production of "Toad in a Hole" was seen by many more, thanks to our free buses. We published a Craft Directory and helped with the publication of Richard Morgan and Paul Fitzgerald's children's book "Tom the Ferryman". We also gave some cash to the Norwich community magazine "Doris". The Waveney Clarion flourishes despite numerous crises and a second edition of Coypu Comix is on the way. We are helping guitarist Steve Holmes to go to Spain to learn flamenco from the gypsies and we celebrated spring at Beccles with much dancing. Many projects are on the way and (thanks to the Waveney District Council), we finally have an office and a telephone.

 Click on the image for the EAAT minutes

A Boring Quotation.

"East Anglian Arts Trust is a non-profit making limited company. An annually elected council of eleven members including chairman, secretary and treasurer administer the Trust through monthly open meetings. Members of the council and members of the Trust neither seek nor receive financial rewards for their service."