THE centenary of the Cottingley Fairies photographs hoax will be marked with a fun day.

The images of cut-out fairies stuck on to trees with hat-pins, taken by cousins Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright at Cottingley Beck in 1917 and 1920, fooled many, including scientist and Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sir Arthur brought the photographs to public attention and was so convinced they were genuine that he gave the girls an expensive camera to capture more fairies and gnomes on film.

The hoax was kept secret for more than 60 years until Geoffrey Crawley, photographic expert and editor of the British Journal of Photography, tried to establish how the images were created.

He tested the original cameras used by the girls and in 1983 published articles saying why the pictures were fake, which led to a confession from the cousins.

Fairymania experienced a resurgence in the 1990s with the release of a film, Fairy Tale, based around the girls' story - our nostalgia researcher Odele Ayres has dug out a treasure trove of images dating back to this period, which you can view at the top of the page.

The centenary will be marked with the Cottingley Community Association Fun Day on Saturday, July 8, between noon and 4pm, at Cottingley Recreation Ground, Manor Road.

It will include a display on the history of the fairy photographs, a mini fun-fair, a welly-wanging competition, fire-eating and a fairy fancy dress competition for children.

A dog show will also be held, featuring eight classes including cuddliest puppy and waggiest tail. Registration is from 1pm, with judging getting under way at 2.15pm.

Visitors have also been urged to make fairy scarecrows on the day, which will go on display at the event.

Patricia Smith, a member of Cottingley Community Association, said: “People are still interested in the fairies story.

“I have lived here for 30 years and it is what people associate with Cottingley.

“People around the world know about it.

“It is always a popular event and this year is a big one for us to celebrate.

“I don’t know if anyone still believes the fairies pictures, maybe children do.”

Businesses on The Parade near to the venue will feature fairy-themed window displays.

Organisers have also appealed for more volunteers to help out on the fun day. For more information, call John Goode on 01274 562496 or Tom Stead on 01274 564564.

Meanwhile, the centenary will be further remembered at Cottingley Fairy Fest on Saturday, July 29, between 12.30pm and 4.30pm, also at Cottingley Recreation Ground.

The event aims to also keep the legend of the Cottingley Fairies alive. It will feature a day of fairytale fun and a number of performers.