Record turn out for ancient ceremony in Ryton
A very wet morning with continuous light rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the Wroth Silverers who were once again gathering in the predawn darkness on Knightlow Hill to see Rachael Gladstone-Brown, the Agent of the Duke of Buchleuch, collect on his behalf his Wroth Silver money.
There were 104 at the stone to see the ceremony as has happened ever Martinmas eve for over 800 years. Rachael Gladstone-Brown the Agent of the Duke of Buchleuch and Queensbury had had the foresight to have the words of the charter of assembly laminated so it would withstand the steady rain.
The rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the attendees; many of those had already fortified themselves with rum and hot milk at The Queens Head in Bretford. We were pleased to learn that all the 25 parishes paid their required dues.
The agent returned to breakfast with her 45 pence which would be forwarded to His Grace. This amount has never been increased since it was originally collected and would now be equivalent to several thousand pounds.
At the breakfast great attention was made to congratulate David Eadon for it being his 80th consecutive attendance, he having been brought by his grandfather at the age of four. We do not believe that there can have been anyone else that had held such a record of attendance. Wroth Silver is believed to be the oldest ceremony of its type in the whole of the British Isles.
A part of the breakfast we have a specially written poem to celebrate it and this year our Poet Barry Paterson rose to the occasion giving a special interpretation to each decade of David’s attendance.
This record war recorded by many congratulations including a personal letter and certificate from His Grace the Duke of Buchleuch, from Christopher Sparrow the previous agent, from a long-time Friend of David’s who had first met him 70 years previously and come especially from the south of France to be there and a kind supporter presented David with a copy of the Manchester Guardian for the day when David had first attended at the age of four.
There was even a congratulatory message from an English Folk Lore enthusiast in the USA.
Breakfast being over we all assembled outside for a group photograph with Davis next to the Mayor of Rugby (Councillor Belinda Gracia) in the centre. The Queens Head had served the party an excellent cooked breakfast in a very efficient time for 95 the most Wroth Silver Breakfasts that they had ever served.
Records achieved this year!
Wettest Wroth Silver for years
Most people at the Stone for the ceremony (104)
Most people at the breakfast since it has been at the Queens Head in 2001 (95)
David Eadon’s 80th attendance – the most ever since 1170AD (well we cannot believe anyone else had done better!
Barry’s Patterson’ website:
Wroth Silver Website – www.wrothsilver.org.uk