DETERMINED traditionalists ensured the coronavirus lockdown would not end a centuries-old annual Bromsgrove custom this week - ensuring history was made in the process.

While the pandemic put paid to the yearly Bromsgrove Fair Day - a feat only achieved previously by World Wars - it did not halt a special socially-distanced proclamation of the town's Ancient Charter.

In 1199, King John granted a Charter to Bromsgrove that it may "hold a Fair and keep holiday" on a Feast of St John the Baptist, the Patron Saint of the parish which is Midsummer's Day (June 24).

For 820 years, the Court Leet has been organising the annual Fair Day in June, in recent times on the closest Saturday to June 24.

The 2020 Fair Day was all set to be a very historic occasion as the first female Bailiff in the Court's 821 years, Ms Joanne Slade, was to lead the colourful parade of Court Leet members and guests along the High Street and the ancient tradition of the fair coming to town was to be revived.

The colourful Court Leet parade was planned to be extended to include local scout and guide groups and the High Street was to be full with a capacity market of mostly local sellers and charities in traditional costumes.

The traditional assizes of ale, bread, meat and leather given by the Officers of the Court were to be followed by entertainment from local choirs and musicians.

Although the current restrictions in place have stopped the 2020 Fair Day from taking place, the Bailiff Ms Slade, accompanied by the Court Leet Bellman and Town Crier Kevin Ward, proclaimed the ancient charter by St John's Church, keeping alive this ancient tradition.

This proclamation was the first to be undertaken by a female Bailiff - it was streamed on social media and is available to view via

Ms Slade said: "I was extremely proud to proclaim the town's Ancient Charter and keep alive our traditions, although it was sad not to be able to enjoy the celebration, fellowship and community spirit which is enjoyed each year on Fair Day."

The date for the 2021 Fair Day will be Saturday, June 26.