Magna Carta group takes trip to capital

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Pontefract Magna Carta Group members had lunch with the Lord Mayor of London as part of preparations for the 800th anniversary of the signing of the charter..

The group met Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow and delegations from the 24 other Magna Carta towns last Tuesday.

The Magna Carta was the first document imposed on a King of England by a group of barons in an attempt to limit his powers and protect their laws.

One of the barons involved in getting the charter signed was John de Lacy, then Lord of Pontefract Castle.

John Colvill, from the group, said: “The reception was organised to commemorate the day the barons took over London. It was a very enjoyable day.”

Pontefract’s Magna Carta celebrations start next month. There will be an outdoor performance by the Yorkshire Volunteers Band and a hog roast at King’s Croft Hotel bandstand on Wednesday, June 10.

Year seven students from across the district will take part in a competition to design and build a medieval catapult at Pontefract Castle on June 11.

There will be a special event at All Saints’ Church from 2.30pm to 5.30pm on Sunday, June 14. Bell ringers will introduce a new peal method, called John De Lacy.

An outdoor service in the Buttercross will follow bell ringing from St Giles’ at 3pm and the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, Bishop for Wakefield Area, will conduct a commemoration service. There will be refreshments in St Giles cafe, with proceeds going to the Prince of Wales Hospice.

Other events include a race meeting featuring the Magna Carta stakes at Pontefract Race Course on June 11 and a formal dinner with local historian Simon Tomson at King’s Croft Hotel on June 12.

The Pontefract facsimile of the Magna Carta and a quilted wall hanging - depicting symbolic Magna Carta images, made by the Ackworth and District Embroiders’ Guild - will be on display.

For more information call Mr Colvill on 01977 704864.