Anniversary of Ellesmere’s market charter to be celebrated

A noble steed is to star in the 800th celebrations of the granting of Ellesmere’s market charter next month.

Fizzgigs Market Charter Queen Joan seen riding Keincaled
Fizzgigs Market Charter Queen Joan seen riding Keincaled

Keincaled, pictured above, is being prepared to transport his mistress – Joan, Lady of Wales and wife of Llewellyn the Great – to a street market in Ellesmere on Saturday 10 July.

The royal visit is to conduct an imagined re-enactment of the granting of Ellesmere’s market charter in 1221, eight hundred years ago. Ellesmere was w one of the first  towns in the country to receive a market charter.

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Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s Community Arts Group, has devised a dramatic performance featuring not only Keincaled but a dragon, assorted medieval towns-folk, an unruly minstrel and much else besides. Kate Westgate, a member of the group, said, ‘The display of Primavera and her sprites in Cremorne Gardens over May Bank Holiday weekend was greeted with great enthusiasm by visitors from outside of the town as well as locals. We hope this performance will be as popular.’

Members of the Fizzgigs community have been coming up with ingenious costumes and props. ‘There will be procession, splendour, silliness and fun! The usual Fizzgigs mix,’ commented Ian Andrew, the group’s chairman.

The town council has arranged for a section of Scotland Street to be closed to traffic to make way for a street market. There will also be stalls inside the market building. This will run from 9am to 4pm. Stalls will be set out so that social distancing rules can easily be followed.

Ann Connolly, owner of Keincaled – more usually known as Tommy – said, ‘He is of a gentle nature and good strong character. As a full Welsh pedigree horse, he is fully suited to carrying Welsh royalty through the town.’ His preparation has included having a clarinet played in his stable, a dragon wheeled round his field in a wheelbarrow and being ridden through the town’s busy traffic.

Members of Fizzjigs, the group’s own band, will be playing music from 10am to 11am and the performance is expected to start at 10.30am.

Other entertainment is being planned for later in the day in the central space in front of the market hall and there may also be live entertainment in the courtyard of a nearby tavern.

‘This is a great opportunity to mark a significant historical moment in our town’s history and for folks to enjoy yet another fabulous Fizzgigs entertainment. Just what we need after the difficult eighteen months we have all been through,’ commented Cllr Paul Goulbourne, Ellesmere town mayor.

Fizzgigs will be repeating the performance from 2pm at Criftins Summer Fair the same day.

Entertainment – Shropshire Live