The Proclamation of the Fair
One of the oldest traditional civic ceremonies in Britain has taken place in our home town of Barnstaple this week. The Proclamation of the Fair has its origins dating back to the early 10th century when the town was recognised as the first official Borough.
The Town Clerk reads aloud the Royal Charter to stage a travelling fair in a ceremony held at the historic Guildhall in the town centre. The Mayor, local councillors, the Showman's Guild and prominent people from the community speak at the event as toasts are made to the fair and the prosperity of Barnstaple. Guests are treated to some sweet treats called 'Fairings' and a special spiced ale brewed by the town's Head Beadle using a recipe passed down through time at the point of succession.