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Thousands celebrate Finnish Spring Fair in Rotherhithe

Rotherhithe seemed more like Scandinavia than Southwark last weekend when thousands of Finnish people celebrated ‘Spring Fair’ at the Finnish Church.

The Finnish festivities took place from Friday to Sunday with up to 2500 people from across London flooding the church in Albion Street.

They enjoyed music, food and arts and crafts from their homeland, and were even treated to an appearance from the Moomins, the beloved characters from a popular Scandinavian book series.

“It was really great,” said Teemu Halli, director of the church. “The weather was not too fantastic but other than that it was good fun with lots of happy people.

“It’s so important for the Finnish community. They get to see each other, to meet new people, which is great as they are quite spread out around London. They also get to listen to Finnish music and eat treats from home.”

Rotherhithe has a long Scandinavian history due to the huge numbers of sailors and traders that used to travel to Surrey Docks from across the North Sea, with many deciding to settle there. Today, London’s Finnish, Swedish and Danish churches are all located in the area.

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