Rothwell is normally a quiet market town. However, Proclamation Monday, which marks the start of the Rowell Fair, is described by some as a pub crawl with a difference, as the ancient Charter is proclaimed outside current and former hostelries.
An early start
At just before six o’clock in the morning the Bailiff arrives on horseback at Holy Trinity Church on Squires Hill, accompanied by a guard of Halberdiers and the Rowell Fair Society Band. The first proclamation is read here at the Holy Trinity Church.
When the clock sounds the sixth ‘bong’, the Band strikes up, playing the National Anthem. The Bailiff reads the Charter to the assembled crowd, after which he declares: “God save the King and the Lord of the Manor”.
Our thanks to Graham Butlin for his footage of the 2022’s ‘Reading of the Proclamation.
Added: 11th July, 2022
Rum and milk for breakfast
The party is presented with drinks from local landlords which include the traditional Rowell Fair beverage of rum and milk for the Bailiff, designed to keep the early morning chill away, and beers for the Halberdiers and the band.
After this reading, the Bailiff and his entourage stop at the War Memorial to pay respects. They then visit the sites of eight public houses to read the proclamation, play the national anthem and graciously accept the occasional drink.
A playful scuffle…
After the first couple of stops, it’s traditional for the local townspeople to attempt to disarm the Halberdiers (?). The whistle is blown, order is restored, and the group moves on to the next public house where the ceremony is repeated.
Locations of the nine readings
1. Holy Trinity Parish Church, Squires Hill
2. The former site of the New Inn
3. Site of the former Crown Coaching Inn
(also where the first “scuffle” takes place)
4. Rothwell House Hotel, Bridge Street
5. The Red Lion, Market Hill
6. By Tesco Express
(former site of The Chequers), Market Hill
7. The Woolpack Inn, Market Hill
8. The Blue Bell, Bell Hill
9. Rowell Charter Inn, Sun Hill
The Charter Inn – the final stop
Setting the tone for a wonderful week
Frank York, Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor (seated) with John Newman, Chief Halberdier
Added: 18th July, 2022
Thanks again to Graham Butlin for this footage of the 2022’s ‘Proc Monday Procession’.
Note: No soundtrack
The tour of the town takes about an hour, after which the dignitaries fulfil their obligatory duties such as photo calls and meeting the press, and everyone is free to enjoy the rest of the day.
In 2023, our Guests included:-
Husband of the Lord of the Manor, Major John Powell
Daughter of the Lord of the Manor, Louise Holborow
Lord High Sheriff, Milan Shah
Rothwell Mayor, Cllr. Ray Davis
Rothwell Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Keith Patrick
Kettering Mayor, Emily Fedorowycz
Corby Mayor, Leanne Buckingham
Northampton Mayor, Stephen Hibbert and Mayoress Liz Cox
MP Philip Hollobone and wife, Natalie
The horses came from David Lawless‘s Waldburg Shire’s Horsedrawn Carriages. ‘Cosmo‘ pulled the Dray and ‘Boy‘ (in his second appearance for the Rowell Fair) provided transport for Frank York. Both horses are used to being in big ceremonies in London including drawing the Lord Mayor of London’s Coach.
Many of the pubs stay open throughout the day, often with live bands and entertainment, so plenty of people choose to enjoy another drink over a hearty breakfast and make a day of it.
Second Time Around!
Introduced some years ago, the Rowell Fair Society added a further step to the Proc Monday tradition. Nicknamed ‘Second Time Around’, the Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor and visiting Dignitaries – after a hearty breakfast at Tresham Hall – are invited to REvisit several of the stops along the route to say an official ‘thank you’ for their support of the Rowell Fair traditions.
Each location was presented with a commemorative Plaque containing the words of the Charter (see below). read more about the Charter on our web-page HERE.
Our first stop was The Blue Bell Inn.
Next stop was The Charnel House Restaurant.
Our third stop was the Conservative Club.
Stop 4 was The Red Lion.
The Fifth Stop was the Arts & Heritage Centre.
Next, stop six, was the Rowell Charter Inn.
Our final stop was Holy Trinity Church.
Frank York (Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor), Colin Bell (Halberdier)
“God Save the King and the Lord of the Manor!”