Tewkesbury keeps Mop Fair charter alive
By Rob Freeman | 9th October 2020
The Royal Charter for Tewkesbury's Mop Fair, which dates back to 1610, will be kept alive on its traditional date - despite the enforced cancellation due to coronavirus.
Held on October 9-10 each year - unless it falls on a Sunday - the pandemic followed World War One as the only issue to force the cancellation of the event.
But after working with Tewkesbury Borough Council to ensure the charter remains intact, licensee James Danter will follow tradition with a symbolic, vastly reduced event.
A small pirate ship ride will be on the junction of East Street, Nelson Street and Oldbury Road, although it will not be open to the public.
And at 4pm today, the time the Mop Fair would have opened, Mr Danter will continue his tradition of laying a wreath at the war memorial.
He said: "Making the decision to cancel this year's event was very difficult, but we know it was the right thing to do.
"With the crowds we were expecting, it would have been impossible to achieve the safety measures needed to be Covid-secure.
"I'm really pleased we've been able to secure a site in Tewkesbury that will host our pirate ship ride and, as a result of its presence, the Royal Charter is kept alive. We look forward to next year when, all being well, the Mop Fair will be back."
The Tewkesbury Fair Society will accompany the ride with an information stand for people to find out more about the Mop fair's history.
Councillor Robert Vines, lead member for finance and asset management, said: "It's been a pleasure to help the Mop Fair keep its historical ties with Tewkesbury.
"Hopefully, by next year, the Covid-19 virus will be under greater control and we can welcome the Mop Fair and its thousands of faithful customers back to the town."
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