Community unites to back historic market town charter celebration

David Buncle of Westcountry Falconry prepares his displa

David Buncle of Westcountry Falconry prepares his display - Credit: David Smyth

The organisers of Honiton Market Charter Day have sent a heartfelt thank you to the people of the town for their massive support of this year’s event on Saturday.

Despite the less than perfect weather, crowds flocked to the High Street and Allhallows. The streets were buzzing with activity, and the field was full of the sound of happy visitors.

Organisers thanked the many community groups who put up stalls either in Northcote Lane or on Allhallows, ranging from Hospiscare and u3a to Honiton Camera Club and the local museum. The winner of the best charity stall prize was COFI.

The programme of events was the biggest yet, including a successful car boot sale. And those selling refreshments, from ice cream to the famous hog roast, did a roaring trade, at least between the heavy showers of rain.

On the field, the crowd was kept enthralled, among other things, by a fascinating falconry display from David Buncle. And the display of classic cars attracted a knowledgeable and interested audience, although the parade of cars through the High Street had to be cancelled.

A number of shops had decorated their windows specially for the occasion, taking up the historical theme of the event. The winning display was by Roots to Health, owned by Jayne Palmer.

The Chairman of the organisers, Terry Darrant, said: “I was amazed at how the event seemed to shrug off the bad weather. The number of people there was beyond anything we anticipated. I saw people I hadn't seen since the first lockdown. It was almost as if Charter Day were a 'reunion day' after eighteen months of miserable social restrictions.”

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One of the performers added: “The ambience of seeing so many happy people, out enjoying themselves as life should be, was very uplifting.”

Terry paid tribute to all those who helped on the day, including the volunteers, mainly from Honiton Community Church, who did a fantastic job. “We couldn't have pulled it off without them,” he said. “I am also hugely indebted to Amberon Ltd, Jon Capon for the PA and Jewsons Honiton who moved heaven and earth to get us generators, loos and pins for the arena.”

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