The annual market to mark the feast of St Simon & St Jude, has brought a flood of people who are channeled between two narrow rows of stalls running the length of town, from pedestrian centre to the thinning urban edge; about five times the length of the bridge I am taking time out from guarding. I am amid an expectant, joyful throng shuffling in sociable counter streams; an incoming tide from the east clutching helium filled dalmatian dogs and cartoon mice, over and around an advancing outflow from the west (bearing candy floss or munching on the greatest variety of take away food I have ever seen). Like the waters in a tidal creek, moving slow and occasionally faster, eddying around pavement cafes or swirling by roasting pigs or on one occasion a whole roasting cow (where even the locals pause to take photographs).

I have just read a note by the Major, that in  ‘1724 the settlement was promoted to town status with the rights to hold markets. King Charles IV awarded the town market rights and the most significant was the Simon – Juda market, held on the days of St. Simon and St. Jude’. At first I thought it was strange to celebrate Judas, until I read the link below which explains how Jude is a completely different character (and patron Saint, no less, of the Chicago Police Department).

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2011-10-28