A Letter from Nantwich

January 2013 


Earlier Press release

Weather won't be a problem for battle

The Sealed Knot prepare to re-enact the battle (photo library picture)

ORGANISERS of Nantwich’s Holly Holy Day event have been quick to allay concerns that the effects of the wet weather could jeopardise the planned celebrations commemorating the civil war Battle of Nantwich on January 26.

    Event Organiser, Shaun Cafferty, said: “We have had a look at Mill Island where the battle takes place, and obviously it’s a bit soggy in places, but the new drainage system seems to be doing its job. Ground conditions are similar to what they were about four years ago, so it’s a situation we’ve handled before.

   “We will have to see what the weather brings, but we are not expecting any serious problems at this stage. We may just need to restrict the spectator areas because of the height of the river.

   “We have spoken with the Sealed Knot, whose soldiers stage this part of the spectacle, and they assure us that they are happy to fight in any conditions.”

   Shaun added: “Weather and ground conditions were far from perfect in January 1644 when the battle was originally fought, so it’s almost traditional!”.

   He also explained that over recent years the organisers have been taking steps to “weather-proof” the event to a greater extent. “Many of the events that make up the day are deliberately staged in the town centre during the morning, either indoors or on the streets, so it’s less of an issue now. We have entertainments on the stage, across the town, and in the Museum.

   “There are Morris Dancers, a hog roast and, of course, The Farmers Market is also on, so we think it will be a great day with something for everyone”.


TO find out more about what’s planned, check the website www.hollyholyday.org.uk. Free event programmes are available from Nantwich Museum, Nantwich Book Shop , the Martin&Co office in Hospital Street, and the Tourist Information Centre.

Battling to banish winter blues

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 www.hollyholyday.org.uk."

   Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson is the event’s patron.


The 2012 programme | The 2010 event | Pictures from the 2010 event | January 2009 update| Damage done to battle field The HHD Chairman about the battlefield damage | A summer version of event 

Letters from Nantwich index page | Updates index page


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