Event Management Brief

First victim in the stocks at Corby Pole Fair

22nd November 2021

Event Management Brief for Corby Pole Fair

Made With Many, alongside the Corby Pole Fair Steering Group, are looking for a specialist event management company to take on all operational event management for this special event in Corby on Friday 3rd June 2022. 

About Corby Pole Fair

Corby was granted the right to hold two annual fairs and a market by Henry III in 1226. In 1568 Corby was granted a charter by Elizabeth I that exempted local landowners from tolls dues and gave all men the right to refuse to serve in the local militia. A popular legend is that the Queen was hunting in Rockingham Forest when she either fell from her horse or became trapped in a bog whilst riding. Upon being rescued by villagers from Corby she granted the charter in gratitude for her rescue. Another popular explanation is that it was granted as a favour to her alleged lover Sir Christopher Hatton.

The Pole Fair is a vigorous surviving relic of feudal England and at Corby English feudalism was coloured by Danelaw or the Vikings. There is no doubt that being carried on a Pole is the most characteristic feature of Corby Pole Fair and has been continuously practised in the town at frequent intervals for the days of King Alfred, that is more than a thousand years. The next Pole Fair is to be held in 2022 some 160 years after the earliest surviving written records of this ancient fair.

There are numerous traditions that take place at every fair, including a dawn parade and reading of the town’s charter, floral gateways to the old village area of Corby, and a greasy pole. At the celebration of the Pole Fair at Corby every stranger entering the village has to pay a small Toll (entry fee), or be carried on a Pole to the stocks and not released until they have paid their dues; one set of stocks being traditionally erected in Stocks Lane and the other set in the Jamb.

However, each pole fair provides the town an opportunity to re-imagine these traditions, explore the town’s heritage and reflect what Corby is like now. Previous pole fairs have included music, markets, processions, dramatic performances, dancing and singing, involving the whole town in celebrating our heritage. Corby Heritage Centre have a thorough archive of previous fairs, with highly detailed plans available for reference from 1947 onwards. 

Two years ago, a small volunteer committee came together to begin to plan the next fair. They have been working with Corby Heritage Centre, Made in Corby and HD Media CIC to explore options, consult with local people, develop a project plan and raise funds.

A film of archive material from previous fairs can be viewed here.

Full Brief and Application Details

Download the full Event Management Brief for more details on what is required, fees and how to apply.

Application deadline: 10am on Tuesday 7th December 2021

Equal Opportunities

We are committed to equal opportunities. We are working to achieve diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community. In support of this, we have an access budget available to individuals with a disability delivering aspects of our programme. If you require additional support to complete this contract, please outline these in your application. Any such requests will not affect the outcome of our decisions. If you require additional support in making an application, or would like this information in an alternative format, please contact the office on info@madewithmany.org

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