Medieval re-enactment group could bring thousands to Swaffham market celebrations, councillors told

Business was brisk for Ward Nurseries of Ringstead (Swpa0015) ANL-140708-133723001
Business was brisk for Ward Nurseries of Ringstead (Swpa0015) ANL-140708-133723001
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Performances by a leading historical re-enactment group could bring up to 10,000 people to Swaffham to celebrate the 800-year history of its market, town councillors have been told.

The claim was made following talks between officials of the working group who are organising the town’s anniversary celebrations this year and Black Knight Historical this week.

The group is set to perform medieval displays on the Campingland during the main celebration weekend on July 18 and 19.

And, delivering an update on the project to Wednesday’s town council meeting, chairman David Wickerson said Black Knight founder Ian Pycroft had advised that the group’s large following could bring up to 10,000 visitors to the town during that weekend.

He admitted: “That does raise all sorts of logistical questions.”

However, he revealed that talks are already underway with the town’s Transport Group over the possibility of running a shuttle bus during the weekend.

He added: “We are well aware that if we get that volume of people we want to keep the traffic to a minimum.”

And town clerk Richard Bishop said large parts of the management plan used for the town’s Christmas lights switch-on could be used in this case as well.

Discussions are also set to take place with the St Peter and St Paul Parochial Church Council (PCC) over the possibility of staging a re-enactment of the signing of the Magna Carta in the church during the celebration weekend.

And Black Knight officials are due to come to Swaffham in April for a costume-making workshop to be held as part of a promotional event at the Assembly Rooms. A competition for the best-dressed medieval couple will be run during the July event.

Meanwhile, Mr Wickerson also announced that school children are being encouraged to devise a new town coat of arms and flag as part of the celebrations.

All of Swaffham’s schools are being invited to take part in a competition to find a design which will be displayed on pennants around the town during the celebration weekend.

And residents are also being asked to contribute to the Swaffham Museum’s archives on the market as it opens for its 2015 season tomorrow.

Officials want to collect as many stories, photos and videos as possible during the year. They are also running a competition for local youngsters to compile a research project based on the theme of markets.