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WATCH: Wellington celebrates Charter Day again after last year's Covid break

Shoppers got into the olde worlde spirit of the occasion when Wellington's Charter Day returned to the events calendar after last year's jamboree was cancelled due to Covid.

Wellington's Charter Day celebrations with temporary town crier Johnny Themans.
Wellington's Charter Day celebrations with temporary town crier Johnny Themans.

The celebration marks the granting of Wellington's earliest known market charter by King Henry III on the last day of February 1244 - including "king's messenger" Paul Kalinauckas arriving on horseback to read the charter.

"There were a good 200 to 300 people, and many were getting into the spirit of the occasion by wearing costumes and playing the part," said Sally Themans, of Love Wellington.

"They were all in costume and acted it well, vigorously hamming it up and using words of the time."

Sally's husband, Johnny, took on the role of temporary town crier, and Jerry Baily kept his hands on the appointed role of ale taster, a post he has held for more than a decade.

Following the arrival of the king's messenger at around 11.30am on Saturday there was a special convening of Wellington’s ancient manor court to appoint the officials - the ale taster, town crier and clerk of the market - for the year ahead.

Ivor Phillips of The Ironmen morris dancers
The Severn Gilders in action

Visitors were also treated to morris dancing from the Ironmen and Severn Gilders.

The entertainment was rounded off at The Pheasant Inn, where ale taster Jerry judged a scone baking contest.

Paul Kalinauckas on horseback
People watching the Wellington Charter Day celebrations

One of the event's special guests of honour was Margaret Robinson, who is known as the "egg lady". She retired from the market at the age of 85 during the lockdown after working in market stalls since she was 13.

Margaret joined the event's Court Leet and her legion of former customers were given the chance to belatedly wave her into retirement.

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