Crowds line Rothwell streets for town's proclamation

One of the playful scuffles. Picture by Alison Bagley.
One of the playful scuffles. Picture by Alison Bagley.

Hundreds enjoyed the sunshine in Rothwell this morning (Monday) to watch a centuries-old tradition.

The town's annual proclamation day features readings of the charter which granted the town permission to hold a fair.

Bailiff Frank York leads the parade on horseback. Picture by Alison Bagley.

Bailiff Frank York leads the parade on horseback. Picture by Alison Bagley.

Each year at 6am on Trinity Monday the bailiff to the Lord of the Manor Zandra Powell – whose family have held the manorial title since that time – reads the charter at the 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 before local youths attempt to disarm the halberdiers, the bailiff’s guards, in a playful scuffle.

The town's pubs were busy with many watching on from the sidelines with a drink in hand

Bailiff Frank York said: "It was a pretty good turnout and we were very fortunate considering the foul weather we've had recently, which did worry me.

"People assume this is the big day for me but it's actually the one day I can relax.

"All of the organisation of the fair and road closures are done and once I'm up on that horse everything is out of my hands!"

He added that he was looking forward to a few months off before starting the organisation again in December.

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.

This year's fair runs until June 22. The cheap night is on Wednesday (June 19).

Visit our website later this afternoon for a picture special from the day.