Thousands turn up for the Towcester town’s 917 Saxon Fair
|Author: Kathryn Hunter||Published: 1st August 2017 21:59|
The community of Towcester came out in force on Sunday 23 July 2017 amidst the sunshine and the rain when the town’s Saxon Fair came to town.
An estimated 3,000 people turned up for the free event, which was the second main celebration of 1,100 years of the town’s history of the first Battle of Towcester when the Saxons of Towcester defeated the Danes of Northampton in 917.
There was so much to see and do that many families stayed for hours, enjoying the bursts of warm sunshine and, in true British summer style, riding out the rain showers!
Not that the weather deterred many from the amazing displays seen within the Saxon encampment and the battle re-enactments. The event was opened by SNC's Chairman, Cllr Fiona Baker, and Churches Together held a service at the start with numerous activities taking place throughout the day. The encampment was packed full of families fascinated by the displays such as weaving, coinage, leather working, story telling, cookery, archery and weapon making, as well as Saxon style craft activities for the children. The fantastic battle re-enactments and amazing birds of prey display were highlights of the day, ably supported by a selection of stalls from many local organisations and bodies, such as Towcester Museum, Towcester WI, the Rotary Club and the local History Society. Kids even had the opportunity to find themselves locked up in a police custody van and dig for treasures with Cotswold Archaeology!
Towcester Studio Band played while families enjoyed food, drink and ice cream from a number of stalls, alongside Towcester Mill Brewery which was selling its specially brewed 917 real ale, Saxon Shield.
Eileen Dickens, one of the Saxon Fair organisers, said the number of people who came along was totally unexpected. “Food vans, ice cream and even beer sold out by the end of the day, it was so popular!” she said. “The whole event had the most amazing community feel to it and so many people had such a fantastic time, enjoying everything on offer and really making the most of it. It was a great experience for those of us who have been part of the organising committee and to have experienced such a successful day makes it all so worthwhile. It most certainly was the biggest historical event Towcester has seen in a long while!”
Towcester 917 celebrations continue throughout the rest of the year, including:
- 2 August – an evening walk around Towcester’s old pubs and inns
- 11 August – a themed flower festival ‘Towcester through the ages’ at St Lawrence’s church
- 18 November – a Towcester Heritage day at Towcester library.
Keep an eye out for more information about the next few events on the Facebook page ‘Towcester 917’, including details about a commissioning of a new piece of music for Towcester Studio Band which will be performed at a concert in the autumn.