A WORLD war was being waged in 1916 but it didn’t stop Dalton folk upholding old traditions.

The Dalton News on Saturday, October 28 in 1916 recorded the ceremonial opening of the Court Leet at the ivy-covered Dalton Castle.

By long custom, October 24 was the time to buy and sell at the start of a three-day fair and to settle minor disputes.

Records had been found showing the court’s officers back in 1887.

The bellman was Joseph Gorman and the constables were Thomas Green and William Rowlinson.

John Proctor and John Leece were the town ale tasters whose job was to try out what was on offer at all the local pubs and inns before picking the best.

The article noted: “Considerable interest is taken in the appointment of ale tasters, the election of these notable personages is always eagerly awaited.”

A century ago the task fell to Mr A. Heys and Mr W.W. Chorley and the awards for the best ale went to the Red Lion and the Bridge Inn.

The Dalton Court Leet had its origins in medieval times when the town was the administrative and legal centre for the abbots of Furness Abbey.

Lands were exchanged, debts settled and criminal cases decided.

In 1410 the court issued a pardon to William Chaumpney, of Kirkby, who had been charged with causing the death of Richard Dymer with a dagger.