Arthur Fletchers modern sporting games, Hospital Hill, mid 60'sMick Paine's juvenile, Bell Hill 1964Holland's Cake Walk, The Green 1955

Royal recognition.

As Robert Denton's time as Bailiff drew to an end, he not only received the thanks and gratitude of The Lord of the Manor, the officers and members of the Rowell Fair Society and the Townspeople of Rowell, but was also honoured by Her Majesty the Queen, in her New Year Honours list. Bob has been awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of his tireless work in the community.

Well done BoB and congratulations from all of the Rowell Fair Society. 


Radio Northamptons Bernie Keith visits the Society.

After the formal business of the AGM was completed, the Society was entertained by the host of Radio Northampton's Morning show, Bernie Keith with his best friend and companion "Riley" the dog. There was lots of laughter as Bernie told of his childhood and progression into hospital radio, student days in Salford, accountancy and moving on to the BBC.


What have we been upto lately ?

Since last years AGM the Society has a number of very successful members evenings. January's talk was especially memorable, with the Rev'd Richard Coles. A very full lounge heard Richard talk of his school days at Wellingborough, his families business, and his days of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll as a member of Bronski Beat and the Communards. He then told of his transformation to a member of the clergy, his work on national radio and what it was like to face John Humphries on Celebrity Mastermind.

Another talk that was very well received by those that attended, was given by a Discovery Volunteer from Twycross Zoo, and was about British zoo's and wildlife parks, with an insight into the history and changes over the years. That evening concluded with a brief look at the wildlife of Tanzania, where the presenter have recently been on safari.

Other events and talks have included our own antiques roadshow, David Lynsey's talk on guide dog training, Greta Palmer's talk on "Dressing an Elephant" and our usual Christmas carols and quiz night.

Do you know of any speakers ?

If you have any ideas on guest speakers for our members nights, please contact our Secretary Ian Pratt, or any other committee member with the details.



The 47th Annual general Meeting of the Rowell Fair Society was held at the Tresham Hall on February 18th 2015.

The business of the evening got underway with apologies for absence and then the Secretary, Ian Pratt read out the minutes of the previous years AGM, with no matters arising the President, Paul Johnson gave his address on the previous years activities. (full transcript of address later) The Honourable Auditor, Clive Cross gave summary of the accounts and stated that the Society was in a good position.

Next came the election of officers, the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman are automatically held by the Baliff and his deputy. Robert Denton has agreed to take the vacant position of Treasurer, that he had been doing in an acting capacity. Carl Harris and Phylis Dines have stepped down from the Committee, and our thanks for their work is greatly deserved, and Sue Johnson has agreed to return onto the Committee, and we welcome her back. The remaining members were all re-elected en-mass.

During the course of these proceedings, 3 presentations were made. The first was by Councilor James Hakewill, the county councilor for Rothwell and Mawsley, who made a donation of £500 to the Society. Thank you. The second presentation was by the Mayor of Rothwell, Councilor Roger Wilson, who made a donation of £450 to the Arts and Heritage Centre, and the same amount to the Society. Thank you Roger and Jenny.

The last presentation was made by Alan Mills and was received by Robert Denton. It was an engraved stone plaque listing all the known Bailiffs or readers of the Charter. This long overdue recognition of those who have played a pivotal part in Rowell's heritage and tradition, will be fixed to the front of the Conservative Club, the headquarters of the Society. editors note: 96 of the 144 years on the plaque feature my relatives. very proud of this fact.

After the formal business was finished, those present were entertained by Bernie Keith. The evening finished in traditional fashion with a raffle.


President's speech

Mr Chairman and this year it is, of course a new Chairman, as the Bailiff, by the rules of the Society automatically becomes the Chairman of the Society. So my first task is to welcome our new Bailiff and Chairmanof the Rowell Fair Society, Mr Alan Mills. So Mr Chairman, Members of the Committee, Rowell Fair Society members and guests.

Welcome to this the 47th AGM, and once we conclude the formal business we shall be enjoying an evening with Bernie Keith.

So the end of another year.

Last year as well as the Fair we, of course, had our regular meeting. Thank you for supporting these evenings.

Last year's topics included:-

1. Our own antiques roadshow.

2. David Lynsey with a fascinating talk on guide dog training.

3. The wonderful wildlife presentation by our own Frank York.

4. "Dress to Impress" which transpired to be a very interesting talk on elephant dressing in India by Greta Palmer.

5. Christmas Carols and quiz night

The last member's evening with the Reverand Richard Coles was extremely entertaining and drew a large crowd. I would like to thank our secretary, Ian for finding an interesting range of speakers over the last year, where else could you get involved in dressing an elephant, go on a safari and get involved in sex, drugs and rock'n'roll but the Rowell Fair Society..........and all for £2 a year. Which reminds me Alan and Margaret are here!!!!!!!

The fair and Proclamation went well. As i've said before attracting fair rides and stalls is always a challenge as there is much competition and it is not helped by the date not being constant, but is helped by us having hard standing for the usual mixed weather.

This was the second year that the road has been closed during fair opening hours and as you may recall i was just a little concerned this would not be popular. It has proved to be accepted and certainly makes the fairground a safe and pleasant enviroment.

The trend over recent years has been to concentrate on the original traditions and although the "extra events" we have staged over the years were very successful it is thought that it is our heritage that we wish to concentrate on.

In my memory there has always been a Civic Parade to the Blessing of the Fair. We as a Society also ran a Classic Car parade at a different time of the day. More recently these have been almalgamated with the first parade to the Civic Service incorporating the vehicle, and horse and carriage parade prior to the blessing. This in liason with the Town Council makes for a much better spectacle, especially with the sound of the Pipe Band.

As this is a community effort, it would be nice to see large numbers of people in attendance for these parades and the Civic service which is open to everybody. How nice it would be to line our streets and fill our church to support what is, of course, Rothwell's unique heritage. We have in excess of 400 members of the Society, lovely if many of them were out to support these events. It is the council's intention to include local organisations to encourage attendance on this yearly special occasion for Rothwell.

The Blessing was reasonably busy last year, helped these days with the Fair opening directly afterwards.

The Gretton Silver Band recital was held as usual in the Methodist Church following the Blessing and, of course, the model exhibition was held in the Tresham Hall. The Parish Church being open along with the Bone Crypt and refreshments being available, it makes a lovely traditional day out with plenty going on.

Rowell Fair Monday was its usual entertaining self and a little different this time with Robert accompanying the Lord of the Manor in a horse drawn carriage whilst Bailiff in Waiting, Alan, was aboard the horse. They took it in turns to read the Proclamation including two extra readings at two sites of other former public houses. 

As this was Robert's last readings we, the Society, presented him with an inscribed photo mantage, an inscribed hip flask and, of course a bottle of rum at the final reading. A large crowd of 3,000+ were on the streets for the 6.00am start to cheer the whole event on. We, the Society, also presented the Lord of the Manor with a beautiful bouquet to mark her family's special anniversary. More of that later.

After the Proclamation, as usual, many enjoyed breakfasts around the town followed by entertainment and refreshments at several venues. The Charter again provided a marquee to house their two day music festival purposely organised to coincide with Rowell Fair.

I would, on behalf of the Committee, like to thank all the support for these events and keep our heritage foremost.

2014 also saw the 400th year of the Lord of the Manor's family holding the Manorial rights and was commemorated on Sunday 25th May with a well attended Church Service.

This year's Fair runs from Saturday 30th May to Saturday 6th June. The first weekend's events, falling on Sunday 31st May and Monday 1st June, will follow a similar pattern to last year.

Trinity Sunday will have the two civic parades either side of the Civic Service. As i said earlier the Council will be asking local organisations to attend this year. Everyone is welcome to attend the Civic Service and as i said earlier it would be nice to fill our beautiful Parish Church.

The Blessing will follow at 3pm followed by the Fair opening and of course the Gretton Band Recital and the Model Exhibition ( which is , of course, open all day).

The Monday is of course the Proclamation and will be Alan's solo gig this year, and will be followed by the more recent tradition of the Bailiff's entourage revisiting the local hostelries during the morning to thank them for their hospitality.

At this time i think it appropriate to recognise the many years of service put in by Robert and this being recognised, amongst other things, by the awarding of the British Empire Medal, congratulations Robert.

Bob, as i stated earlier, was presented with a personal tribute last year but we would like to recognise his contribution, along with other known Bailiffs and readers by a commeroration plaque that will be placed on the front of this building. (Tresham Hall) I ak Alan to formally present this to the retiring Bailiff Mr Robert Denton BEM.

Don't forget the Rowell Fair Tart competition which Ann Jones will again be running on the second Saturday. The winner receives £20 and a silver salver is also awarded.

Again thanks to Dave Springthorpe for all the support he gives to the Society and for organising the splendid Model Exhibition, a great attraction. Dave also does much to promote our fair in his articles particularly in the "Worlds Fair"

This year we will be awarding Honary Membership of the Society to Phyllis Dines. She has served on the committee for many years but has decided that she will not be seeking re-election this year. Thank you for your loyal service Phylis.

I would again like to make mention of the Rothwell Arts and Heritage Centre with whom the Society has reciprical support. Our thanks go to Alan and Margaret Marlow who are both committee members and volunteers at the centre and provide a vital link for us.

The Centre also now produces "Rowell News" a bi-monthly newsletter. With information included from our own newsletter where appropriate.

The Arts & Heritage Centre will be holding another fund raising dance here, in the Tresham Hall, in September and support from the Society members would be greatly appreciated. 

A big thank you to everyone playing their part in our great heritage and i thank all whose contrbutions however great or small make it so prominent.

It is in no small part that the work quietly undertaken behind the scenes by numerous people that has meant our unique heritage remains. Thank You.

Thanks also go to our Committee, to Clive Cross our Auditor, to Robert for taking on the Treasurer's role in addition to his busy year, the Conservative Club and all of you, our members, for your continued support.

Our next member's evening on March 26th is "Owls to Behold" with Tony Hewitt.

I look forward to seeing you all at the events throughout the year.

Finally, Thank you all and i wish you an entertaining and pleasant evening.


Paul Johnson