VILLAGERS gathered to mark a time-honoured tradition that started in the sixteen century.

During the Annual Proclamation of the Fair, held at noon on August 1, Broughton in Furness welcomed dignitaries and local people to witness the historical proceedings.

Since 1593 many have gathered to witness the Lord of the Manor proclaim the Annual August Fair.  The first Fair saw Henry Stanley, Lord Strange, the fourth Earl of Derby read the Proclamation for the first time.

As the latest in a long line of Lords of the Manor, Westmorland and Furness Council recognises the importance of maintaining this valuable part of the Cumbrian heritage by continuing the time-honoured practice.

Following local tradition, the representative of the Lord of the Manor, along with his guests, walked to the Market Place in procession, led by the Bailiff Joss Curwen who was carrying the ceremonial Halberd.

Local councillor Matt Brereton introduced the proceedings from the steps of the Obelisk. Councillor Ali Jama, Vice-Chairman of Westmorland and Furness Council, and councillor John Jardine, chairman of Duddon Parish Council, read the Proclamation to those watching.

Local children were excited when the Vice-Chairman and other dignitaries scattered pennies among the crowd after singing the national anthem. The assembly of local people then visited a local pub for 'Fair Cake' and Ale.

Councillor Jama, as the Lord of the Manor's representative, welcomed the opportunity to sign the charter for the first time on behalf of Westmorland and Furness Council. He signed on a new piece of parchment as the previous piece was full because it contained the signatures of every person who has read the Proclamation since the Charter was first proclaimed in 1593.

Councillor Jama said: "I am very proud to be the first signatory on the Charter on behalf of the most recent Lord of the Manor, Westmorland and Furness Council. Reading the Proclamation in such a wonderful village surrounded by the community and local dignitaries has been an honour.

"Marking local, historical events is important to the county and local people and I look forward to the 431st Annual Broughton Fair on 1 August 2024.''