A wet pre-dawn morning greeted the agent to His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch as she arrived to collect her dues from Knightlow Cross last Wednesday morning.
All were undaunted by the heavy rain as the intrepid supporters of the ceremony gathered in a field on the top of Knightlow Hill in Stretton on Martinmas Eve before sunrise.
Organiser David Eadon, attending for his 78th consecutive Wroth Silver, called the crowd to order and the agent, Rachel Gladstone-Brown, officiating for her first time, read out the Charter of Assembly, calling upon the named parishes to pay their dues as they have been on this spot since 1170 AD.
Soon cries of “Wroth Silver” were being clearly heard above the sounds of traffic on the A45 accompanied by the tinkling of coins.
Among the contributors was Rugby Mayor Richard Dodd, paying for the parish where he lives.
David Eadon said he was pleased to see so many people turn up and support the ceremony.
Upon completion of the annual collection the money was gathered from the stone and it was announced that sufficient money had been collected so it was not necessary to charge a fine.
This was a relief for the assembled crowd and a relief that this year there was not a need to charge the forfeit as no-one was sure where the relevant parish would locate an appropriate ‘white bull with red nose and ears’.
The payment duty done and witnessed by more than 90 people they all retired to the Queen’s Head at Bretford for a cooked breakfast and to toast the health of Her Majesty the Queen and His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury.