750th Anniversary of Royal Charter Celebrations for Mapperley Village
Red, white and blue bunting adorned the streets of Mapperley as what felt like the whole village came out to celebrate the 750th Anniversary of the signing of the Royal Charter. Originally known as Maperlie, and first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the small Derbyshire village – which is located just to the North-West of Ilkeston - was granted the charter in 1267 by King Henry III. In it, then Lord of the Manor Simon of Ardene, was permitted to hold an annual fair on the festival of the Holy Trinity, making the event even older than Ilkeston Fair. Embracing the Medieval origins of the occasion, as events included a jester, market stalls, Maypole dancing, Robin Hood themed play, traditional stocks and medieval fancy dress.
The event was co-ordinated between Mapperley History Project, Mapperley Church of England Primary School and Holy Trinity Church, with support from the local parish council. Elaine Sarson, who runs the Mapperley Village History Project said she was hopeful that the event would help expose the village to those who may not have previously heard of it. “It’s often called Derbyshire’s best-kept secret,” said Elaine, “it’s a really thriving community.”
The village previously held an event for the 700th anniversary celebrations in 1967, where a local newspaper article reported that the foul weather could not dampen the spirits of those in attendance, as the villagers flocked to watch a day of events, which included a piano pushing race, a tug-o’-war and a fancy dress competition. Mapperley resident Bill Skinner was quoted as saying, “We were quite satisfied with things as they tuned out despite the poor weather.”
And it was Bill Skinner, 50 years later, who opened the 750th anniversary celebrations with a short speech. Whilst there was no piano race this time around, the celebration was packed full of a variety of different events, including live music, pony rides and food stalls. Like its preceding event 50 years earlier, the day was cursed by adverse weather, but, just as half a century previous, neither the turnout nor the spirit of those in attendance was affected.
The occasion even drew a royal seal of approval, as Elaine Sarson received a special note from Her Majesty the Queen to wish her well for the event. “2017 should be a very exciting time,” said Elaine, “not just for Mapperley Village, but for anyone who is interested in England’s rich history and in community life.”
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