The following is based on a Press release sent
to me by Shaun Cafferty last October
AN EVENT to banish the post-Christmas blues!
That’s the aim of the team organising the annual re-enactment of the
Battle of Nantwich, which will take place on January 26.
Holly Holy Day celebrates the
lifting of the siege of Nantwich during the English Civil War in January
1644, after a battle between Parliamentary and Royalist armies on the
outskirts of the town. The jubilant residents celebrated by wearing
sprigs of Holly, hence the name of the day.
Over the years, the day has
grown into a wider celebration of Nantwich’s rich history and heritage,
with a diverse programme of events in and around the town during the
morning, culminating in the colourful and evocative parade of soldiers
from the Sealed Knot organisation in their authentic 17th
Century attire, and the noisy re-enactment of the battle itself on Mill
Island in the town centre.
Shaun Cafferty said: "The
organising team are working harder than ever to deliver a cheerful event
with something for everyone – and free of charge too!
"January is often a difficult
time of year for people, and with things the way they are at the moment
we felt that we should do our bit to lift everyone’s spirits. So we have
an even bigger programme of events in the town during the morning,
catering for a wide range of tastes, families especially, and all
accessible and totally free of charge.
"There is a small admission fee
(£1 for children aged 15 or under, £2 for adults, or a family ticket
- two adults and two children aged 15 or under, £5) for those wanting to
get up close to the battle itself on Mill Island, but before that there
will be more than four hours of unbroken entertainment around the town
with no charge.
"The first Holly Holy Day was
all about the town cheering itself up after a grim time, and this is
still our challenge 369 years later."
Shaun has called on the town’s
businesses to support the event through advertising and sponsorship, or
by volunteering their skills. He said: "‘We know that many businesses in
Nantwich are very grateful for the extra trade that this event generates
in what is usually a quiet trading period. The shopping population on
Holly Holy Day is four times the norm, and it also puts us more firmly
on the tourist map as a great place to visit.
"But the event only happens
through the efforts of a small group of unpaid volunteers working in
their spare time – I have a day job running the house-letting firm,
Martin & Co! - and we do depend for funding on local companies
supporting us through taking programme adverts or other sponsorships.
With packages for as little as £50 we have consciously made it
affordable for shops and businesses to support the event.
"We would also welcome more
volunteers, both to help on the day and with the complex task of
organising it each year. Anyone interested can email us via our website
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward
Timpson is the event’s patron.