This year has been an exciting one for Congleton, full of events and activities to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the town getting its first Charter. To celebrate the extraordinary year and recognise those who have worked hard to make the celebrations extra special, a unique Medieval Council meeting was held on Thursday 8 December at the Town Hall.
The audience, many of whom were dressed in their medieval finery were taken on a whistle stop review of 2022. The meeting featured reports from the Ale Taster, the Catch Pole and Chair of the 750-working group – Cllr David Brown.
Congleton Town Mayor, Cllr Margaret Gartside said: “It’s great to see so many people here this evening joining together to reflect on the achievements and success of the phenomenal year. It’s definitely been a big and memorable occasion for us all. On behalf of the town council, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved for making the 750th charter year an extra special one for Congleton. We are lucky to have a town steeped in magnificent medieval history, full of fantastic talented people bound by the community spirit for which our town is renowned for. Finally, I would like to thank the sponsors for their kind generosity, the nine companies who sponsored the event and 32 that sponsored a heraldic banner.”
John Lindley, former Poet Laureate of Cheshire was invited to read a 750 inspired poem that he had written for the Charter year. Jo Money, Congleton Community Projects thanked all the artists and sewers who made the amazing heraldic flags to dress the town centre. Cllrs Suzy Firkin and Kay Wesley announced the winners of a Schools History Competition run by Congleton Museum. Special thanks were given to Jenny and John Unsworth for their exceptional help over the course of the year. Certificates were given to all the volunteers and sponsors.
The celebrations have included hand painted heraldic flags above shops, medieval style banners on Mountbatten Way, a ‘Beating the Bounds’ walk, ‘Medieval Festival Day’ in the park, a ‘Living History Exhibition’ and a ‘Medieval Banquet’. Benedict Goodale aka Paul Boswell was appointed Ale Taster which saw TV crews from the BBC, ITV and Channel Five descend on Congleton for filming. A beer festival is planned for next year, which will require Benedict to remain in post to share his expertise.