VIDEO: Celebrations at proclamation of Rowell Fair charter

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Huge crowds have gathered to celebrate a town’s unique tradition – now in its 809th year.

Thousands of people turned out this morning (Monday, May 27) for readings of the proclamation of Rothwell’s charter, first issued in 1204 by King John, which permits it to hold a market.

Rothwell, the reading of the charter at Rowell Fair: And down goes another drink, for Robert Dent.'27/05/13

Rothwell, the reading of the charter at Rowell Fair: And down goes another drink, for Robert Dent.'27/05/13

Proclamation Monday also marks the opening of Rowell fair, with festivities beginning at 6am with the first reading of the charter at the Holy Trinity Church by bailiff Robert Denton.

Mr Denton rode around the town on horseback, reading the proclamation at a further eight places. He was accompanied by the Rowell Fair Society Band and local dignitaries.

There were also the traditional scuffles, where townsfolk attempt to disarm the halberdiers, who escort the bailiff around the town.

“It’s unique in the UK,” said Mr Denton, who estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 people had lined the streets of the town.

He added: “In a normal year we get about 1,500, and it doubles on a bank holiday.”