VIDEO: Bumper turnout at Rothwell’s Proclamation Day

Rothwell saw a bumper bank holiday crowd for its annual proclamation this morning (Monday).

Misty weather didn’t put off those who lined bustling streets at 6am for the centuries-old tradition.

Rothwell's Proclamation Day. Picture by Alison Bagley.

Rothwell's Proclamation Day. Picture by Alison Bagley.

Bailiff Frank York said he wasn’t sure of the exact attendance but that it was the biggest crowd he’d seen in years.

He said: “The legs are a bit sore but it was a lot, lot easier than last time.

“I’m very pleased with how it all went.

“It was the biggest crowd I’ve seen for the proclamation for some time.”

This year’s fair saw a special milestone - 50 years since the forming of the Rowell Fair Society.

The society was set up to support the fair as interest in the town was fading.

Mr York added that today’s turnout was a great way to mark the occasion.

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.

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 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.

Locals then attempt to disarm the halberdiers, the bailiff’s guards, in a playful scuffle.

The first recorded bailiff was an ancestor of Mr York, who carried out his duties for a second time this year.

The York family holds almost 100 years’ experience as bailiff throughout the years.