Village remembers Magna Carta

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Spofforth in Bloom are hoping for floral glory in the prestigious Britain in Bloom contest by taking a look to its heritage.

The group, which was selected by the Royal Horticultural Society to represent Yorkshire, will theme its summer campaign on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta because of the village’s links.

Spokesman David Saunders said: “There is an unconfirmed tradition that Richard de Percy, the head of the house, and one of the leading signatories of Magna Carta, held a meeting of the insurgent barons at Spofforth Castle where the provisions of the Charter were drawn up in 1215, along with William de Percy, 6th Baron of the House of Percy and other rebel Northern Barons.”

Spofforth Castle, at the heart of the village, is owned by English Heritage but is cherished by the Parish Council and residents.

Mr Saunders explained: “In 1985 the villagers held a fund raising event that helped raise the money to buy the Castle Field in front of the castle for the enjoyment of all the villagers and visitors and this land is now maintained by the village.

“On June 14 we will be organising an event, including an information point area focusing on the Magna Carta and the part Spofforth Castle played in it’s history.

“June 14 was chosen as it coincides with the date of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and on the same date there is to be a National Garden Schemes Open Gardens event taking place in the village, when we hope to attract maximum visitors.”

He added: “Our aim is to inform, educate and encourage visitors and residents to participate in local heritage and community activities and also, of course, to enhance our entry in the RHS Britain in Bloom National Final.

“This year all flower beds throughout the village will have information displays re Magna Carta.

“And the flower bed at the Castle Field will have a larger information board re Magna Carta to attract attention and provide information to both passing tourists and residents.”

Mr Saunders added that the Spofforth in Bloom group is seeking sponsors to help fund its attempt to win Gold and the prestigious RHS Britain in Bloom ‘Best Village’ title.

“We would be very pleased to hear from any local companies that would like to be involved.

“As a sponsor your name/logo will be added to our website with a link to your own website (over 35,000 hits in the last two years).”

He explained that any sponsors of information boards would see their logo alongside the renowned and prestigious RHS Britain in Bloom name and logo.

Any company or individual wishing to provide sponsorship should contact David or Lynn on 01937 590384.