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Medieval fair celebrates Sir Thomas

PUBLISHED: 13:51 23 June 2006 | UPDATED: 15:43 22 October 2010

RICHARD BATSON

One of the county's unsung heroes will get the recognition he deserves on July 1, when residents of a north Norfolk village stage a medieval fair - complete with minstrels, ale house and knight on horseback.

One of the county's unsung heroes will get the recognition he deserves on July 1, when residents of a north Norfolk village stage a medieval fair - complete with minstrels, ale house and knight on horseback.

The event is being held in honour of Battle of Agincourt soldier Sir Thomas Erpingham and staged at St Mary's parish church in his namesake village near Aylsham.

It is the idea of local agricultural contractor and church bellringer Alan Witham, who said: "You hear so much about Nelson, but 300 years before he was born we had Sir Thomas, who was also a true Norfolk man."

Instead of having Erpingham's traditional church fete, Mr Witham thought a medieval fair would be a good way of commemorating Sir Thomas, who built the church tower in the early 1400s, as well as helping bring local people together.

"Also, a lot of people have moved here, and I thought it would be a way of getting that community spirit back, as well as raising some money for the church and for future events," he added.

Attractions will include pony rides, stained glass and bead making workshops, a sheep shearing demonstration, a display of finds made by a metal detecting group, and an exhibition of village life in medieval times.

Rector of St Mary's Rev Brian Faulkner will be giving tours of the grade 1 listed church, and fair-goers will be also able to meet birds of prey or try their hand at medieval games.

Also putting in an appearance will be Sir Thomas and his trusty steed - in the guise of Erpingham farmer and district councillor Peter Wilcox and his horse Stanley - and Robin Hood, played by Mr Witham's son Robert.

The local Spread Eagle pub will be running an old ale house, and an evening hog roast at the church.

Entrance to the fair, which runs from 1-4.30pm, is £1 (children free).

Tickets for the evening event, which includes music from the Ugly Dog Skiffle Band and Minstrels Gallery, cost £15 and are available from the Spread Eagle, Erpingham. Phone 01263 761591.


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