Crowds turn out to see King John at Droitwich's Charter Day - The Droitwich Standard
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12th Aug, 2022

Crowds turn out to see King John at Droitwich's Charter Day

Droitwich Editorial 4th Aug, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

RESIDENTS and visitors came out in force to Droitwich on Saturday (August 1) to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the town receiving its charter from King John.

There were a host of activities on the day, which included an all-day street market and a medieval banquet castle in the High Street and a farmers’ market and pig roast in Victoria Square. In Vines Park, there was food available and live music.

King John arrived by royal barge, appropriately decorated, and was welcomed by a tumultuous crowd in Vines Park. With him was a replica charter because it is believed the original was lost in a massive fire in 1290 when a lot of Droitwich was burnt to the ground.

Players from the Norbury Theatre provided a light-hearted sketch to welcome the royal guests.

The Royal entourage and local dignitaries then paraded to St Andrews Church where the Royal Seal was appended to the charter.

In Vines Park, visitors were able to put their loved ones in some stocks that would have been used hundreds of years ago. They were created by skilled local craftsman Dick Jones, using traditional tools that would have been used at the time, such as side axes, an adze, a draw knife and a stock or clog knife.

A number of groups also gave up their time to make the event happen – including the town’s Probus and Rotary Clubs and the scouts.

Coun Bob Brookes who came up with the idea for Charter Day while he was mayor said: “It was a fantastic turn-out – everyone came together and really enjoyed celebrating that day 800 years ago when Wyche became Droitwich.

“Our very own Norbury Theatre players provided costumed actors, a fantastic ambience, and even painted the scenery to make the ‘castle’ in the High Street.

“The Royal Barge appeared on cue, resplendent with a dragon and trumpeter, and of course the new copy of our Royal Charter.

“I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to all those who took part, for their hard work – they are to be congratulated on making it happen.”

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