Rowell Fair cancelled for the second year running - but organisers hope for separate summer event

Covid restrictions have forced the cancellation of traditional celebrations

Monday, 1st March 2021, 12:05 pm
Bailiff Frank York.

Coronavirus restrictions have forced Rowell Fair to be cancelled again - but organisers are hopeful that they might be able to host a separate summer celebration.

The popular tradition usually sees hundreds line the streets of Rothwell at 6am on Proclamation Day for the reading of the charter, granted by King John in 1204 to hold a market and fair.

Last year's Rowell Fair Week was cancelled when the nation was in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with a small socially-distanced group upholding the charter outside the Church of the Holy Trinity.

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Action from a previous Rowell Fair Week.

And this year's event has also been cancelled with Proclamation Day - which would have been on May 31 - coming in phase three of the roadmap to end Covid restrictions.

Although some outdoor events could be held bailiff Frank York said social distancing, track and trace and crowd control measures left the restrictions insurmountable.

He said they had consulted with police, the council, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and others before making the tough decision.

He said: "We're very disappointed. It's one of those things where the heart wants you to go ahead but the head says otherwise."

It means that for the second year running there will be no parade on horseback, rum and milk and playful scuffles to try and disarm the halberdiers in the streets in Rowell Fair Week.

The charter will still be upheld, however, and talks about how they will do it in 2021 are ongoing.

But there's also hopes about holding a non-charter fair in August for Rothwell instead, which Frank said would be a first for the town.

He said: "There is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

"It won't be the charter fair, but we're hoping we might be able to have another fair later in the year.

"It would be a first for Rothwell."

Here's hoping 2022's Rowell Fair can go ahead - God save the Queen and the Lord of the Manor!