Looking back over a year of celebrating Loughborough markets and fair

Published: Fri 21st January, 2022

  • The display of photographs of Loughborough Market traders at the Town Hall

Loughborough is marking a busy and thrilling year of celebrating the 800-year anniversary of the town’s markets and fair with a final event.

On January 22, 1221, a charter was signed by King Henry III granting permission to the Lord of the Manor, Hugh le Despenser for a weekly market to be held in Loughborough every Thursday.

Throughout 2021, Charnwood Borough Council, which runs the markets and fair, celebrated the anniversary with a series of events and the support of partners.

The party started on January 22 last year and, to mark the 801st anniversary, the Council is holding one final exhibition at Loughborough Town Hall.

Photos showcasing the history of Loughborough Market and its traders will be on display at the gallery at Loughborough Town Hall for the coming weeks.

Councillor Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough, said: “It’s hard to believe that we are coming to an end of a fantastic 12 months of celebrating the rich history of Loughborough market and the annual fair.

“The markets and fair truly are the lifeblood of the town and something everyone should be proud of – from the traders and showmen, the Council and the people who visit every year.

“I have been humbled by the support of the residents of Charnwood, who have embraced our celebrations and visited our events and exhibitions in great numbers.

“Thank you to everyone who has been involved. You have all contributed to making the anniversary year one to remember.”

Some of the special events that took place throughout 2021 included:

  • The Council launched the celebrations on January 22 when using the 'magic of Zoom' we were able to make a video call to the Sheriff of Leicestershire back in 1221
  • The Our Market, Our Fair exhibition was held at Charnwood Museum in partnership with Leicestershire County Council’s museum and the Local Studies Volunteers at Loughborough Library.
  • Commemorative lights were installed in the town centre
  • A heritage plaque was placed in the town centre to mark the 800-year-milestone with an unveiling event attended by heritage groups, the Mayor of Charnwood and other dignitaries
  • A photo exhibition to showcase and celebrate Loughborough’s market traders was held
  • Children’s Cookie and Cake competition at Loughborough Market during the summer
  • Pumpkin decorating competition at Loughborough Market at Halloween
  • Loughborough Town Hall hosted a Loughborough Fair exhibition
  • Commemorative mugs and tea towels were created and given as prizes at competitions and gifts to invited guests throughout the year
  • Pie and Mash dinner for the Loughborough fair showmen was held at Loughborough Town Hall
  • Loughborough Fair returned in style after a break in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The Local Studies Volunteers at Loughborough Library are also producing a book that will tell the story and history of the market as well as covering the celebratory event of the year.

For full details of all the 800th anniversary of Loughborough markets and fair – including a history of the charter and videos from various events that have taken place in the past 12 months, visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/marketandfair800.