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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Leap year helps Wellington mark historic milestone

One of the county’s most historic markets is marking a special milestone. Wellington Market is celebrating 780 years since it was awarded a charter by King Henry III on February 29 1244.

Pictured celebrating the market milestone are, from left, Jenny Duff of Beautiful Bargains, Bubbly Bahra of Bubbly's Kitchen, Councillor Lee Carter, market manager Herlander Alcobia and Sally Blackwell of Bloomers.
Pictured celebrating the market milestone are, from left, Jenny Duff of Beautiful Bargains, Bubbly Bahra of Bubbly’s Kitchen, Councillor Lee Carter, market manager Herlander Alcobia and Sally Blackwell of Bloomers.

Eight centuries later it is still one of the region’s biggest and busiest markets, with over 50 diverse traders and a vibrant food court.

To commemorate the creation of the market, Wellington Charter Day is held on the first Saturday of each March, organised by local organisation Wellington H2A.

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Visitors to the Charter Day, to be held this Saturday 2 March, can expect music and Morris dancing in the Market Square, the arrival of the ‘King’s Herald’ on horseback and the convening of Wellington’s ancient Manor Court – consisting of local business owners and residents from all over town who will appoint some honorary and historic roles, such as town crier and Clerk of the Market. 

The town’s ‘ale taster’ Jeremy Baily – a position first recorded in Wellington in the 1300s – will also be at large during the day’s activities, which start at 11am, and he will be helping to judge a home-made marmalade competition at The Pheasant in Market Street at 1pm, which local people are invited to enter. 

“As the charter was granted on February 29, this makes the 2024 celebration extra special as this is also a Leap Year, meaning that this is actually only the 195th anniversary,” said Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council Cabinet Member for Place (The Economy & Neighbourhood Services). 

“As we celebrate the 780th anniversary of Wellington Market, it’s a poignant moment to reflect on its enduring legacy.

“With over eight centuries of history, this market has been a cornerstone of our community, evolving alongside our town’s growth and transformation. Now under the council’s ownership, we’re poised to guide this cherished institution into a new chapter.

“Our commitment is not only to preserve its rich heritage but to invigorate it with fresh vitality, ensuring it remains a vibrant hub for generations to come,” he added. 

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