Hundreds of people lined the streets of Rothwell this morning (Monday) for the town’s annual proclamation.
The official opening of Rowell Fair saw the town come out in force as the new bailiff Frank York read out the charter on horseback.
It was the first fair since the passing of the previous bailiff Alan Mills, who died last year, with a minute’s silence held at the end of the morning.
Alan’s son Lloyd, who led the procession through the town, said: “It’s a great honour to do it.
“My dad would have been very proud and he loved Rowell Fair.
“It was the occasion that he lived for.”
The first recorded bailiff was an ancestor of the new bailiff, Frank York.
The York family holds 96 years’ experience as bailiff throughout the years and Mr York said he hopes this was the ‘first of many’ for him.
He said: “I was a bit nervous at the start but I am very proud and privileged to hold the role.
“It’s such a great day and I hope this is the first of many.”
David Loach watched on and says he’s been getting up for the 6am start every year since he moved to Rothwell in 1991.
He said: “It’s the best day of the year for the town, there’s so many people that love it.
“It’s great fun and I come every year.”
Maureen Scott has lived in Rothwell all her life and says Rowell Fair ‘never gets old’.
She said: “It’s a real family occasion and it brings the town together.
“It might be the same every year but it never gets old.”
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 as police watch on from the sidelines.