Braving the midnight chill for procession
SHOPPERS and revellers descended on Sherborne to celebrate the historic tradition of Pack Monday Fair.
As Sunday night became Monday morning, residents marked the start of festivities with a clang in Teddy Roe's midnight procession.
People of all ages joined the parade, marching through the town's streets clashing symbols, blowing trumpets, hooting horns, ringing bells and making as much noise as possible.
Legend says Teddy Roe was the foreman of a group of masons who walked through the town banging tools to celebrate completion of repairs to Sherborne Abbey tower following a fire. In recent years, attendance has been falling but this year more than 100 people braved the cold for the event.
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Jon Andrews, Sherborne Town councillor, attended with a brass bell.
He said: "We all know why we were there, to celebrate the start of Pack Monday and keep the tradition going.
"We want everyone to tell their friends to come along for next year and we want to make it much bigger and better."
Alison Dike, of Stalbridge, came draped in instruments for the occasion.
After taking part in the tradition for a number of years she has launched a historical project on Teddy Roe, to investigate the procession's origins and keep it going as part of the town's heritage.
She said: "Next year I want to create an exhibition about Teddy Roe's night over the years to generate interest in the event and tell people how it originated. It's part of Sherborne's history and we must make sure that it stays that way for many years to come."
This year three Sherborne brothers took part as a trio for the first time.
Brian Hooper, 71, now lives in Devon but travelled to Sherborne for the event. He joined the procession with brothers Michael, 65, and Derek, 73.
Brian said: "It's the first time I've ever taken part and I had a great time."
Later in the day, Sherborne came alive with a party atmosphere created by the Pack Monday F air.
Crowds descended on Cheap Street, braving near torrential rain at points, to browse a colourful range of stalls in the hope of bagging a bargain.
A fair ground was set up at the Terrace Playing Fields from Thursday as part of the festivities.
Sergeant Ged Want of Sherborne Police patrolled the town centre attractions and Teddy Roe's night as part of his last shift in the town.
He said: "Pack Monday is a big occasion for Sherborne so it was fitting that my last moments working in the town were as part of the festivities.
"I'll be sad to leave but it's time to move on to new challenges."