Tring Charter 700

Celebrating 700 years of Tring’s heritage

It’s been an exciting summer in Tring! Monday 29 June saw the 700th anniversary of Tring being granted a market town charter in 1315 and,  whilst you can read all about the history of the event on www.tring700.org, the celebrations on the actual anniversary made for an action packed twenty-four hours.

Yarn Bomb Tring

yarnbomb700The day started at 5.30am when aband of volunteer guerrilla artists met on the Church Square to yarn bomb the town. You can see lots of photos  on the Facebook group ‘Yarn bomb Tring!’ and their work had already started to draw the crowds before most people had gone to work.

This was a fantastic, off-the-wall element of Charter 700 and hundreds of people stopped and looked and talked to each other and took photos and just enjoyed the slightly bizarre experience of seeing a knitted zebra and an elephant (Elmer, as all the children will tell you) in Tring.

3,000 students met the Mayor

The Tring Mayor (Stephen Hearn), Town Crier (Steve Berry), Vivianne  Child and Steffi Buse from Tring Together, visited all eight Tring  catchment schools and spoke to 3,000 children during the course of the day.

mediaeval700The Town Crier read the original charter to the assembled children at each school and the Mayor explained the importance of the Charter to the town  – both in 1315 and today. We started the day at Goldfield, to be greeted by Head Teacher Debora Stevens, dressed as Edward II – complete with fake beard!

Each school was presented with a limited edition Charter 700 Commemorative Coin by the Mayor and there are still a few coins available for purchase for £5 from Tring Together . The  schools event was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund because of its emphasis on education and engagement for young people and Tring is very grateful for their grant.

The Washington Connection

washington700Huw Bellis and Tring’s Deputy Mayor, Mike Hicks, welcomed  representatives of the Daughters of the American Revolution to Tring during the afternoon. The Tring and District Local History Museum and Society, facilitated by Murray Neil, were presenting a new Washington Family tree to hang in the church. (One of Washington’s ancestors lived in Tring). If you want to see the new family tree, it is in the church which is open every day during daylight hours.

St Peter & St Paul Charter Fiesta

Finally there was a capacity crowd in the Parish Church on Monday  evening. Michael Beasley, the new Bishop of Hertford and Huw Bellis, the Rector, led the fiesta celebrations which included celebrating the feast of  St Peter & St Paul as well as 700 years of Tring history. Tring School Music department and the Church Choir provided some great music and a historical but entertaining -newline”> ‘700 years of Tring in 700 seconds’ was presented by a group of willing volunteer dramatists, involving many FOTCH faces: Richard and Hayley Abel, James Child, Stephen Hearn,  Annette Reynolds, Sharon Sanderson, Emily Wood and myself!

charter700crowdAt 8.30pm the crowd came out into the cool of the churchyard to mingle  and talk to friends old and new – there was a Charter 700 cake, a Tring personalities quiz (now available on www.tring700.org), a screen show of pictures of old Tring (courtesy of Mike Bass) and plenty of photo  opportunities for those in medieval dress.

There was a BBQ and bar and medieval music in the churchyard and a large crowd was still there at 10.00pm to sing ‘Happy Birthday Tring’. A  beacon was lit on the church roof and the evening ended with a firework finale.

And there’s more!

There is still more to come in Tring under the Charter 700 banner during  the rest of 2015, including a photographic competition, a smartphone  Tring trail app, the original town charter is coming to the town for the first time and there will be a final Musical Extravaganza on Saturday 17 October.

For more details of Charter 700 please go to www.tring700.org or email info@tringtogether.org.uk.

Monday 29 June was a great day in terms of engaging young and old alike with our fantastic heritage, as well as having great fun. 3,760 people were involved in something on 29 June which must be a record for a Monday!  (Photos by and Vivianne Child.)

Vivianne Child
FOTCH Member

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