Let’s party like it’s 1315 again!

The Tring Charter sign near the memorial gardens
The Tring Charter sign near the memorial gardens
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Two weeks of charter-themed festivities begin today to mark 700 years since Edward II signed the document officially declaring Tring a market town.

In those medieval times, a two-week long fair was held so Tring Together’s programme of activities will mirror that of the town’s ancestors from 1315.

The Tring Charter seal in flowers

The Tring Charter seal in flowers

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as donations from Dacorum Borough Council and Tring Town Council, have made the celebrations possible.

Vivianne Child, of organising body Tring Together, says she has been overwhelmed by the amount of support shown by the town’s people ahead of the historical milestone. She said: “We’ve had lots of new faces getting involved and there’s a real buzz about the town.

“People want to be part of something fun and successful and part of the lottery grant terms was to get people involved and volunteering.

“I’d love to get an official T-shirt made with all the names of people who have helped – I reckon we would have 150 names.

“It’s made such a difference. Just a few years ago, even delivering the leaflets would have been time-consuming, but this year we’ve had so many people step forward and say ‘I’ll do my road!’.

“We’re very grateful and very excited for the next two weeks.”

The festivities will kick-off with the carnival at 11.30am today, where local school children will parade through the High Street wearing medieval dress and past the charter seal made of flowers outside the memorial gardens.

They will make their way to Pound Meadow for games, entertainment and stalls galore plus musical entertainment in the evening.

Monday, which is the official Charter Day, will see both the town mayor and crier visit local schools by traditional horse and trap to perform a short play about the history of the charter.

The packed programme features concerts, quizzes, art exhibitions, library open days and farmers’ markets before the 14-day extravaganza wraps up with a traditional family fun day in Tring Park on Sunday, July 5 courtesy of the Woodland Trust.

For a full run down of the events visit the Tring 700 website here, where a modern day English version of the historic charter can also be downloaded.

The document itself is stored in the national archives and it is hoped it will be transported to the Tring Local History Museum on Brook Street and exhibited later in the year.

As part of the historic milestone, Tring Together has commissioned 700 silver coins to be made to mark the occasion.

These cost £5 each and will be available at the Tring Together stall during today’s carnival.