Rowell's charter upheld with small-scale proclamation

Rowell Fair was cancelled for the second year running because of Covid restrictions

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 10:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 10:20 am
The small-scale proclamation. Picture by Andrew Carpenter

At 6am on Proclamation Day the streets of Rothwell would usually be packed - but for the second year running they were quiet because of Covid restrictions.

Rowell Fair was cancelled earlier this year because its May 31 date fell in Step Three of the Government's roadmap to ending lockdown rules, with measures needed to hold it safely proving insurmountable.

The popular tradition usually sees hundreds line the streets for the reading of the charter, granted by King John in 1204 to hold a market and fair. For the second year running there was no parade on horseback and playful scuffles to try and disarm the halberdiers in the streets in Rowell Fair Week.

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But the charter still needed to be upheld and, after similar steps were taken last year, a small socially-distanced group met outside the Church of the Holy Trinity yesterday morning as the clock struck six.

Bailiff Frank York read the charter with a few rum and milks poured out to those who attended.

Mr York would normally spend Proclamation Day recovering from spending the morning on a horse - but with no parade this year he was volunteering at Hamerton Zoo by 10am.

He said: "People heeded my request not to turn up in numbers and hopefully we can turn out in much bigger numbers next year.

Karl Sumpter pours a rum and milk. Picture by Andrew Carpenter

"It's a great privilege to be the Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor of Rowell."

The charter. Picture by Andrew Carpenter
Bailiff Frank York outside the church. Picture by Andrew Carpenter