Just a week until Rothwell’s Proclamation Day

Rowell Fair: Rothwell: Proclamation, 'New sheriff Francis (Frank) York, 'Monday June12th 2017 NNL-171206-090331009
Rowell Fair: Rothwell: Proclamation, 'New sheriff Francis (Frank) York, 'Monday June12th 2017 NNL-171206-090331009

Rothwell will come out in force yet again next Monday (May 28) for the town’s annual Proclamation Day.

The celebration as part of Rowell Fair is marking a special milestone - the 50th year since the forming of the Rowell Fair Society.

It will be the second year that Frank York has been bailiff to the Lord of the Manor.

He said: “Back in 1968 a public meeting was called to get a bit of support and help as interest in the fair was fading.

“It now helps the bailiff in a tremendous capacity.

“Had the society not been formed it was a possibility it could have died out.

Rowell Fair: Rothwell: Proclamation, 'New sheriff Francis (Frank) York, 'Monday June12th 2017 NNL-171206-090009009

Rowell Fair: Rothwell: Proclamation, 'New sheriff Francis (Frank) York, 'Monday June12th 2017 NNL-171206-090009009

“But it’s had a bit of a resurgence and I’m glad it did.”

This year’s Proclamation Day falls on a bank holiday, which Mr York says has ‘caused a bit of a headache’ in organising.

But it should see a bumper turnout for the 6am Proclamation start time.

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.

Rowell Fair: Rothwell: Proclamation, 'New sheriff Francis (Frank) York, 'Monday June12th 2017 NNL-171206-085606009

Rowell Fair: Rothwell: Proclamation, 'New sheriff Francis (Frank) York, 'Monday June12th 2017 NNL-171206-085606009

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.

Events for this year’s fair start on Wednesday (May 23) for the showman’s night at Tresham Hall at 8pm.

The Rowell Fair tart competition is at Rothwell Arts and Heritage Centre at 10.30am on Saturday, May 26, with the fair opening at 2pm.

Sunday, May 27, sees a bumper day of entertainment with a classic vehicle static display (Charter’s Inn car park, 10am) and model exhibition (Tresham Hall, 10am to 5pm), as well as street entertainment and parades.

The fair opens at 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday and Saturday and 6.30pm from Tuesday to Friday.

On Wednesday (May 30) there is a happy hour on fairground rides and children’s entertainer and on Saturday, June 2, a 50th anniversary cake will be cut before the fair opens.