Historic community event is back on town's summer calendar

Tudor Dance Group at Honiton's Charter Day in 2018

Tudor Dance Group at Honiton's Charter Day in 2018 - Credit: Tim Dixon

One of Honiton's historic community events will return this summer after organisers announced that planning is now under way for Charter Day 2021. 

Following the government’s announcement of a roadmap for the relaxation of restrictions, the team planning this annual event, which provides a showcase for local charities and voluntary groups,  say they are more optimistic of being able to put together a successful event in the town on Saturday, July 31.

Charter Day celebrates the granting of a royal charter in 1257 to hold a weekly market in the town, a market that still thrives to this day. It has been held every year since the 750th anniversary of the charter in 2007, except for 2020 when it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

This year Charter Day will also be commemorating the 800th anniversary of the town’s other great tradition, Hot Pennies, dating back to when a royal charter for Honiton’s fair was first granted in 1221.

Chairman of the organisers, Terry Darrant said: “We as a committee had been planning for several years for a big blow out in 2021, to go hand in hand with the 800th Hot Pennies celebrations. 

“Last year we sadly had to cancel, and as a result we couldn’t provide the support to all the local charities who use the day to promote themselves and raise funds. So we are happy to be able to offer free charity stall pitches this year. 

“The government’s roadmap has come a bit late in the day for us to be where we’d like to be by now, but we are all really hopeful we can put on a day that everyone will enjoy this summer, after a year of lockdowns and restrictions.”

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The organisers told the Herald that full details of Charter Day 2021 would be announced in the weeks to come.

There has been a market recorded in Honiton since before the reign of King John (1199-1216). However, the Royal Charter, granting the rights for a weekly market to be held, was bestowed on the town in 1257 by Henry III.

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