A look back at Rowell Fair and the proclamation in 77 archive photos of Rothwell's historic charter reading

God save the King and the Lord of the Manor!

On Monday, (June 5) at 6am, as the chimes of Holy Trinity Church Rothwell ring out, Bailiff Frank York, astride a horse, will begin the age-old and adrenaline-filled proceedings.

Hundreds throng the streets for Proclamation Day to hear multiple readings of the charter granted by King John in 1204 for a market and fair to be held in the town.

Tots of rum and milk are used to toast the monarch after the charter is read outside hostelries in the town and at sites of former pubs.

Celebrations hark back to the past when a bailiff collected rents, accompanied by bodyguards called halberdiers carrying large spear-like poles – halberds – to protect him as went about his business.

The short halberds carried today have metal ball heads. On the sound of a whistle attempts are made to disarm the halberdiers leading to sometimes bloody scuffles.

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