THE BLESSING OF THE FAIR

Our appreciation goes to the citizens of Rowell and the wider community for their assistance in creating this page – a real team effort! There are still a few missing pieces of information highlighted and if you can help, please get in touch.

Thanks from all of us at the Rowell Fair Society
👍👍

What is ‘The Blessing’?

The Blessing of the Rowell Fair is a short ceremony that begins at 3pm on The Feast of Holy Trinity commonly known as Trinity Sunday – the Sunday immediately before Rowell Fair’s Proclamation Monday.

The ceremony takes place within the fairground. During the short ceremony, the Fair is formally blessed by a representative from one of the local Churches. This is an interdenominational event attended by crowds of people enjoying the Service, supported by the Gretton Silver Band.

The event immediately follows the Rothwell Town Council’s Civic Service at the Holy Trinity Church and who then parade back to the Fairground.


You can see other events and dates connected with the Rowell Fair HERE



Words of a typical Prayer Blessing. Wording varies between years

Showman’s Hymn

1930s

1935 – Our earliest photograph of the Blessing

A grand Organ Recital was also performed on the very same Sunday. Programmes cost 1d! (One OLD penny!)

More recently, the Blessing itself usually takes place aboard one of the attractions.

1940s

1947
Blessing of the Fair aboard Holland's Moonrocket
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1947
Blessing of the Fair aboard Holland’s Moonrocket
Photo © 2023 Frank York

1950s

1953
Reverend Collins aboard the Holland's Dodgems
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1953
Reverend Collins aboard the Holland’s Dodgems
Photo © 2023 Frank York

1960s


circa 1960???
Tommy Nichols (who passed away in 1982) leading the Procession
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
1961
Tommy Nichols (who passed away in 1982) leading the Procession.
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
Year 1950s/60s/70s??? 
Choir Leader, Tommy Nichols (who passed away in 1982)
with Choir Boys: Jonathan (Jon) Suiter, David Muggleton and Paul Fox?
Some debate at to whether it is the 50s, 60s or 70s
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
1967
Choir Leader, Tommy Nichols (who passed away in 1982)
with Choir Boys: Jonathan (Jon) Suiter, David Muggleton and Paul Fox
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
1968 - Blessing of the Fair
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1968
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1969
The Vicar of Rothwell, Reverend Cox and St John Ambulance passing the now 'Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre'
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1969
The Vicar of Rothwell, Reverend Cox and St John Ambulance passing the now ‘Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre’
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1969
Blessing of the Fair
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1969
Photo © 2023 Frank York

1970s

1970
Blessing of the Fair
Photo © 2023 Frank York
1970
Photo © 2023 Frank York
5th June 1977
Aboard Whiting's Chaser. L to R: Methodist Minister, Geoffrey Hawkeridge, the Revd. John Cox and Council Chair, Robert Denton
Photo © 1977 Stan White
Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
5th June 1977
Aboard Whiting’s Chaser. L to R: Methodist Minister, Geoffrey Hawkeridge, the Revd. John Cox and Council Chair, Robert Denton
Photo © 1977 Stan White
Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
L to R David White, Reverend Paul Rose conducting the Blessing on William Thurston's Waltzer De-Luxe.
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
19??
L to R: ?, ?, Yvonne White, Cllr David White, Reverend Paul Rose, Simon Ogle, Mayor of Rothwell and his Wife, ?, ?, Robert Denton, Carolyn Mackay, Alistair Mackay all aboard William Thurston’s Waltzer De-Luxe
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre

1990s/2000s


circa 1977? 
Reverend Tim Royds, Mayor David Jones??, Reverend Paul Rose aboard Charlie Appleton's Twist
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
1992
Reverend Tim Royds, Mayor David Jones, Reverend Paul Rose aboard Charlie Appleton’s Twist
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre

2004 (Rowell Fair’s 800th Anniversary)

2004
Reverend George Burgon, Major J Powell (Husband to the Lord of the Manor), Tim Royds (United Reform Church)
2004's Blessing of the Fair
© 2004 Geoff Davis
2004
Reverend George Burgon, Major J Powell (Husband to the Lord of the Manor), Tim Royds (United Reform Church)
2004’s Blessing of the Fair
© 2004 Geoff Davis
2004
Simon Ogle, the Late Zandra Powell (Lord of the Manor), Reverend George Burgon on Thurtson's Waltzer
2004's Blessing of the Fair
© 2004 Geoff Davis
2004
Cedwien Brown, Alan Pope (facing left), Simon Ogle, the Late Zandra Powell (Lord of the Manor), Reverend George Burgon
on Thurston’s Waltzer
2004’s Blessing of the Fair
© 2004 Geoff Davis

2005

1990s/2000s???? 
Karl Sumpter & George Burgon on Charlie Appleton's 'Hi-Energy' Miami
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
2005
Karl Sumpter & George Burgon on Charlie Appleton’s ‘Hi-Energy’ Miami
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
Year ???
Reverend George Burgon, Gretton Silver Band on Charlie Appleton's 'Hi-Energy' Miami
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
2005
Reverend George Burgon, Gretton Silver Band on board
Charlie Appleton’s ‘Hi-Energy’ Miami
Far left: Cllr Alan Pote, and ?, and ?
Far right: Zandra and Johnny Powell
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre

2008 or 2012 ??

Year ???
Councillor Alan Mills (future Bailiff), Reverend George Burgon, Karl Sumpter passing Andrew Robinson's Crazy Pyramids Funhouse
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre
Year: Unknown. Maybe 2008 or 2012??
Councillor Alan Mills (future Bailiff), Reverend George Burgon, Karl Sumpter passing Andrew Robinson’s Crazy Pyramids Funhouse
Photo © Unknown. Gifted to Rothwell Arts & Heritage Centre

2016

2016
Bailiff Alan Mills and 2016 Mayor, Karl Sumpter
© 2022 Derek Sumpter
2016
Bailiff Alan Mills and 2016 Mayor, Karl Sumpter
© 2022 Derek Sumpter

2019

16 June 2019
Clive Cross (at back far left), Rev. Ruth Colby, Rev. Cannon John Westwood officiating. Fred ??? (Chair, Conservative Club), Cllr Tom Morrissey (Mayor, Rothwell) Nicholas Robertson (Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire) - 5th from right
2019's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Geoff Davis
16 June 2019
Clive Cross (at back far left), Rev. Ruth Colby, Rev. Cannon John Westwood officiating. Fred ? (Chair, Conservative Club), Cllr Tom Morrissey (Mayor, Rothwell) Nicholas Robertson (Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire) – 5th from right

© 2022 Geoff Davis

2022

2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson's Euro Flyer
Halberdiers Les Voss, Wayne Woods, Reverend Andrew Farrington, Mayor Karl Sumpter, Julie Sumpter, Sue Johnson, Paul Johnson (Both RFS), Kelly Watts (Mayor, Kettering)
2022's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Derek Sumpter
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson’s Euro Flyer
Halberdiers Les Voss, Wayne Woods, Reverend Andrew Farrington, Mayor Karl Sumpter, Julie Sumpter, Sue Johnson, Paul Johnson (Both RFS), Keli Watts (Mayor, Kettering)

2022’s Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Derek Sumpter
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson's Euro Flyer
Rev Andrew Farrington, Cllr Ray Davies, Mayor Karl Sumpter, Julie Sumpter, Phillip Hollobone (MP), Ian Dudley (RFS), Sue Johnson, Paul Johnson (RFS), Ray Brown, Kellie Watts (Mayor, Kettering)
2022's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Derek Sumpter
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson’s Euro Flyer
Rev Andrew Farrington, Cllr Ray Davies, Mayor Karl Sumpter, Julie Sumpter, Phillip Hollobone (MP), Ian Dudley (RFS), Sue Johnson, Paul Johnson (Both RFS), Ray Brown, Keli Watts (Mayor, Kettering)

© 2022 Derek Sumpter
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson's Euro Flyer
From L to R: Frank York (Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor & RFS Chair), Halberdiers: Les Voss, Wayne Woods
2022's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson’s Euro Flyer
From L to R: Frank York (Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor & RFS Chair), Halberdiers: Les Voss, Wayne Woods
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson's Euro Flyer
Mayor Karl Sumpter, his wife, Julie Sumpter, Ian Dudley (Rowell Fair Society), Philip Hollobone (in background)
2022's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson’s Euro Flyer

Mayor Karl Sumpter, his wife, Julie Sumpter, Ian Dudley (Rowell Fair Society), Philip Hollobone (in background)
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson's Euro Flyer
Natalie Hollobone (Wife of MP), Mayor Karl Sumpter, Philip Hollobone (MP), Julie Sumpter, Lloyd Mills (Deputy Bailiff), ??, Sue Johnson (Secretary, RFS)
2022's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson’s Euro Flyer

Natalie Hollobone (Wife of MP), Mayor Karl Sumpter, Philip Hollobone (MP), Julie Sumpter, Lloyd Mills (Deputy Bailiff), ?, Sue Johnson (Secretary, RFS)
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson's Euro Flyer
Reverend Andrew Farrington, Cllr. Ray Davis, Mayor Karl Sumpter, Natalie Hollobone, Julie Sumpter, Philip Hollobone (MP), Ian Dudley (RFS), Lloyd Mills (Deputy Bailiff), Sue Johnson, Paul Johnson (Both RFS)
2022's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
Aboard Raymond Pearson’s Euro Flyer
Reverend Andrew Farrington, Cllr. Ray Davis, Mayor Karl Sumpter, Natalie Hollobone, Julie Sumpter, Philip Hollobone (MP), Ian Dudley (RFS), Lloyd Mills (Deputy Bailiff), Sue Johnson, Paul Johnson (Both RFS)

© 2022 Geoff Davis

2022
From L to R: Julie Sumpter, Lloyd Mills (Deputy Bailiff), Sue Johnson (Secretary RFS), Paul Johnson (President, RFS), Ray Brown , Kelly Watts (Mayor of Kettering) 
2022's Blessing of the Fair
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
From L to R: Julie Sumpter, Lloyd Mills (Deputy Bailiff), Sue Johnson (Secretary RFS), Paul Johnson (President, RFS), Ray Brown ,

and Kelly Watts (Mayor of Kettering)
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
© 2022 Geoff Davis
2022
© 2022 Geoff Davis

2023

2023
Blessing of the Fair on William Thurston's Waltzer
© 2023 Rowell Fair Society
2023
On William Thurston’s Waltzer
© 2023 Rowell Fair Society
2023
Blessing of the Fair on William Thurston's Waltzer
© 2023 Rowell Fair Society
2023
On William Thurston’s Waltzer
© 2023 Rowell Fair Society

Video – 2023 Blessing

Our thanks to RFS member, Edd Hirst for this short video clip of 2023’s Blessing.

2023
Leanne Buckingham (Corby Mayor), Sharon Davis (Wife of Ray Davis), Emily Fedorowycz (Kettering Mayor), Ray Davis (Rothwell Mayor),
Crispin and Louise Holborow, Rev Andrew Farrington, Cllr. Ian Jelley, Colin Bell (Halberdier) Lee Vincent (Halberdier)
© 2023 Edd Hirst

2024 – Our 820th Anniversary

Coming later this year!
Send us your photographs

of 2024’s Blessing!


If you have any photographs from years not shown, do get in touch using our contact form HERE and we’ll post them on this page.

We’d love to hear from you so that we can add even more detail to this page of
Rothwell’s proud tradition – The Rowell Fair!