VIDEO: Hundreds line streets for Rothwell’s Proclamation Day

Hundreds lined the streets of Rothwell this morning (Monday) to celebrate the town’s centuries-old tradition.

Rothwell’s Proclamation Day, part of Rowell Fair, features readings of the charter which granted the town permission to hold a fair.

Rothwell townsfolk attempt to disarm the bailiff's guards.

Rothwell townsfolk attempt to disarm the bailiff's guards.

People packed the streets for the event at its traditional 6am start time, and were greeted with bright sunshine.

The fair had originally been granted permission in 1204 by King John, but the charter which is read out dates back to 1614 and the reign of King James I.

Each year the bailiff to the Lord of the Manor Zandra Powell – whose family have held the manorial title since that time – reads the charter at various sites of current and former pubs, travelling around the town on horseback.

After each reading the national anthem is played and rum and milk is served to the bailiff’s party.

Locals then attempt to disarm the halberdiers, the bailiff’s guards, in a playful scuffle as police watch on from the sidelines.

Alan Mills and Robert Denton shared bailiff duties this year.

Mr Mills said: “I have very much looked forward to being in it.

“I’m very, very proud to be involved.”

Asked how he felt after the consumption of so much rum and milk so early in the morning, Mr Mills added: “Heady.”

Local Mike Gregory woke up early to watch the proclamation before he headed to work.

He said: “I only moved here two years ago but I’ve been here both times and it’s brilliant.

“It’s great that the tradition is still going strong.”

This year’s Proclamation Day was attended by the newly-elected mayor of Kettering Scott Edwards, MP Philip Hollobone and other local dignitaries.

The event takes place every Trinity Monday, with the tour of the town taking about an hour-and-a-half.

This year’s fair in the town will run until Saturday, May 28.