Heritage Hunter mini-guide

<< Back to Corby Pole Fair main menu

About the mini-guides

We have created three mini-guides to help everyone get the most out of Pole Fair. So whether you want to start early, stay late or just pop in for a few hours to discover the delights on offer, select a mini-guide that suits you. We also have a Family Explorer mini guide for a fun-filled day out for the whole clan and the Party Circuit lets you follow the daytime entertainment into Friday evening.

Heritage Hunter mini-guide

Friday 3rd June 2022
5:00am to 5:00pm

This mini-guide is for history buffs, curious Corby inhabitants and people with an interest in the past. Experience the rich heritage of Corby for yourself from The Charter and Vikings to the stocks and the pole itself and learn all about the Pole Fair and the town first-hand.

‘Greasy Pole’ competition

In Association with Jackson’s Bakery

We’ll have a ceremonial pole erected on the Charter Field, which will be decorated and accompanied by images of the Greasy Pole from the archives.
Take a picture with the pole on Charter Field and upload it to the Corby Pole Fair Facebook page by Friday 10th June. The best picture wins a great prize!

Ox Roast

Traditionally a feast for the whole village, the pole fair always includes a roasted ox for all to enjoy. This year, a roast ox roll will cost £6.50.

At the Pole Fair the first slice of the Roast Ox has always been auctioned off, and this year is no different! Head to Tunwell Lane at 9am to bid and all money raised will go to charity.

The Stocks and the Stang

Traditionally any visitor to the Old Village has to pay a ‘toll’ to enter the Pole Fair, in reference to the charter excusing Corby residents from paying road tolls. Those not paying the toll face being carried on the stang and locked in the stocks. The term ‘stang’ is taken from the old Norse word níðstang, which is a pole used for cursing an enemy in pagan tradition. Have your photo taken in the stocks outside the Cardigan Arms and watch out for the stang across the Old Village.

Market

Supported by North Northamptonshire Council

The Royal Charter grants the village of Corby rights to hold a regular market, so there’s always been a market at the Pole Fair! This year you’ll find delicious food items and local crafts alongside a range of charity stalls. You might even catch some promenading performers and musicians throughout the day too! 
The Market is open from 9am to 6pm on South Road.

The Newton Rebellion

In 1607, over 40 local villagers (from Corby, Kettering and Stanion) were killed whilst protesting against the enclosure of common land by local landowners.
Find out more about the rebellion from storyteller Lachlan McCall on the Cardigan Stage at 12.15pm, 2.45pm and 4.30pm

A Song for Corby Pole Fair

On the Charter Stage, in association with Taste Original

Simon Mayor and Hilary James feat. Oakley Rangers & local musicians
Simon (one of the world’s leading mandolin virtuosos) and Hilary (acclaimed on BBC Radio 4 as ‘one of Britain’s finest voices’) have toured internationally playing to both adults and children. They have been collaborating with Corby musicians over the last few weeks to create a brand new song for the Corby Pole Fair, which will be performed alongside some of their other music.
Listen to the premiere of A Song for Corby Pole Fair at 3pm at the Charter Stage

Jousting with the Knights of Albion

The Knights of Albion are fast becoming one of the UK’s premier jousting teams. With breath-taking jousting displays, original storylines, movie-quality armour and colourful costumes, the Knights of Albion really push out all the stops to make their show something extra special. Using professional stunt riders, jousters, acrobats, musicians and performers, along with beautiful trick-trained Spanish and Friesian horses, they really bring an all-star action-packed performance.
See jousting displays at West Glebe Park at 10am & 3pm, with a foot parade through the fair at 1pm.

Pageant – Granting of The Charter

On the Charter Stage, in association with Taste Original

The Pageant retells the story of Queen Elizabeth I’s accident in woodland near Corby, which reportedly led to the granting of the charter. Performed by students from Corby Business Academy and written by Elspeth Robb (from an original script from 1947).
Watch the Pageant at 2pm on The Charter Stage

Viking Encampment and Kori the Viking

Early settlement in Corby dates back to the 8th century when a group of Danish invaders, with their leader, Kori, settled there. It thus became known as ‘Kori’s by’ – Kori’s settlement. Most of East Anglia in the 6th – 7th centuries was ruled by Vikings and Corby was named in the Doomsday Book in 1086AD as Corbei.
Visit the Viking Encampment in the school grounds and watch out for Kori in the walking parade at 11am.

Charter Reading

The Pole Fair begins with a reading of the charter by the vicar at the three entrances to the village, with the oldest resident of the village (June Thompson), the Mayor (Cllr Tafadzwa Chikoto) and the vicar (Rev. Paul Frost) ‘chaired’ in between and hymns from combined choir of St James Gretton and St John Corby. Prior to this, the church bells will ring to awaken the village. After the charter reading, there will be a free breakfast on the Charter Field, thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund.
The charter readings begin at 6am outside St John’s Church, moving to outside the White Hart and then near the Cardigan Arms.

Parade

In Association with Corby Carnival Association

Re-imagined for 2022, the walking parade will have all the fun of a normal carnival parade without the lorry fumes! Led by four larger-than-life figures from Corby’s past, the walking parade will feature local groups and the Corby Carnival Court. The walking parade will leave Stephenson Way at 11am and parades through The Jamb, down the High Street and ends at St John’s Church.

Ceilidh Jam with Folk Dance Remixed

On the Charter Stage, in association with Taste Original

Ceilidh Jam will get you on your feet for a funked-up, unique, folky, social dance – a fabulous chance for all to dance! Using traditional callers to teach, we’ll be mixing folk formations, Street Dance, legendary moves and freestyle grooves – from the Soul Train Line to Lucky 7, Strip the Willow to the Electric Slide.
Get your dancing shoes on at 5pm for the Ceilidh Jam at the Charter Stage

Corby Silver Band

On the Charter Stage, in association with Taste Original

Corby Silver Band is a traditional brass band that was formed for the Pole Fair in 1902, making it one of the oldest bands in the local area.
At 8am Corby Silver Band will play on the Charter Stage

Historic Transport

See a range of historic and vintage vehicles, including two traction steam engines from the Allen Eaton collection, with additional WW2 vehicles outside The Cons Club. 
Find Heritage Vehicles on West Glebe Park and The Cons Club from 9am – 6pm

Photography exhibition of the Old Village

Photography exhibition down the High Street showing what the Old Village was like through the years…

The Story of the Parliament Stone

The Parliament stone sits at the front of the church and in oral tradition is the site of the reading of the Corby Royal Charters of 1585 and 1670. Village folk would congregate at the stone and it was used by villagers to let off steam about local issues, as well as planning for the following week.
Find out more about the use of the Parliament Stone from storyteller Charlotte Mooney at the Parliament Stone (outside St John’s) at 10.15am, 12.30pm and 4pm.

Corby Pole Fair exhibition

Corby Heritage Centre will be exhibiting images and objects that tell the story of Corby’s ancient Pole Fair. Visitors will be amazed at the fascinating story behind this unusual custom held once in every twenty years and celebrated in style by Corby residents.
Visit Corby Heritage Centre at 75 – 77 High Street between 11am and 4pm

Tea Dance

Hosted by The Cons Club, our 1940s themed tea dance, will be full of nostalgia. Including an hour of harmony singing that will take you back to the 1940’s. Abbey and Kate entertain their audience with their vintage tone and close part harmonies.
Visit The Cons Club on Cottingham Road between midday and 2pm to join in the tea dance.

The Plight of the Corby Weavers

In the Eighteenth Century, Corby was home to a thriving hand-loom weaving industry, with many weavers working out of cottages across the village. But by the time of the 1851 Census, there was not a single weaver left in the village.

In the Eighteenth Century, Corby was home to a thriving hand-loom weaving industry, with many weavers working out of cottages across the village. But by the time of the 1851 Census, there was not a single weaver left in the village.
Find out more about the plight of the Corby Weavers from storyteller Sarah Mooney on the High Street Stage at 9.30am, 12.15pm and 3.30pm.

Heritage Quilt

Helen Watts and Louise Cain have brought together fellow needleworkers from across Corby and Weldon to create the Corby Heritage Quilt, which is made up of handmade panels designed to reflect and celebrate communities of both today and yesterday and the history that draws us all together.
View the quilt in the Church hall between 10am and 4pm

Lord Cardigan

Lieutenant-General James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, whose family owned much of Corby Old Village, was an officer in the British Army who commanded the infamous Light Brigade during the Crimean War.
Hear more about Lord Cardigan and his adventures from storyteller Richard York on the Cardigan Stage at 10am, 1pm and 3.30pm.

Corby Pole Fair Archive Film

HD Media CIC and their young media trainees have been busy researching, collating and editing photography, film footage and personal memories of the Pole Fair from 1902 onwards. This includes rare footage, which has been digitised to the highest standard, to document the traditions, frivolity and community spirit of the fair, which can be viewed HERE.

Keep an eye out for…

  • Come and have your picture taken in the stocks outside the Cardigan Arms
  • Watch out for the stang in the Old Village
  • Floral arches at the 3 gateways to the Old Village
  • Wandering Elizabethan Minstrels playing traditional instruments
  • Morris Dancers from the local area, including the Corby Conspiracy side, will be performing throughout the day.
  • Pop-up Ceilidh from Folk Dance Remixed
  • Historic Transport with a range of vintage vehicles
  • Photography exhibition of the Old Village
  • Best Dressed House Competition – residents of the Old Village have been busy decorating their houses for the fair. The best, as chosen by judge Mandy Young DL, will win a £100 cash prize donated by Rockingham Post Office. 
  • Check out the Pole Fair Archive Film online at www.corbypolefair.com
  • Buy local history books at the souvenir stand, including a book signing by local historian Dr Peter Hill at midday.

Fill out the audience survey using the QR code on your programme. Let us know what you think and be in with the chance of winning a brilliant prize.

Times and places

Bell ringing from 5am and first Charter Reading at 6am at St John’s Church, moving to outside the White Hart and Cardigan Arms – Listen to the live broadcast of the Charter reading at 6am on Corby Radio or BBC Radio Northampton if you don’t want to get up early!

Don’t miss the FREE breakfast at 7am on the Charter Field – first come, first served until it’s all gone!

  • 08:00am Charter Stage Corby Silver Band 
  • 09:00am at South Road Market opens 
  • 09:00am – 6.00pm Tunwell Lane Ox Roast
  • 09:00am – 6.00pm West Glebe & The Cons Historic Transport
  • 09:30am High Street Stage The Plight of the Corby Weavers
  • 10:00am West Glebe Jousting with the Knights of Albion with foot parade through the market at 1pm
  • 10:00am – 6:00pm School grounds Viking Encampment
  • 10:00am Cardigan Stage Hear about Lord Cardigan and his adventures from storyteller Richard York
  • 10:00am – 4:00pm Church Hall Heritage Quilt
  • 10:15am Outside St John’s The Story of the Parliament Stone
  • 11:00am at The Jamb and High Street Walking Parade
  • 11:00am – 4:00pm Corby Heritage Centre Corby Pole Fair exhibition
  • 12:00pm-2:00pm The Cons Club on Cottingham Road Tea Dance
  • 12:15pm High Street Stage The Plight of the Weavers
  • 12:15pm Cardigan Stage The Newton Rebellion
  • 12:30pm Outside St John’s The Story of the Parliament Stone
  • 1:00pm: Cardigan Stage Hear about Lord Cardigan and his adventures from storyteller Richard York
  • 2:00pm Charter Stage Pageant – Granting of the Charter  
  • 2:45pm Cardigan Stage The Newton Rebellion
  • 3:00pm Charter Stage A Song For Corby Pole Fair
  • 3:00pm West Glebe Jousting with the Knights of Albion with foot parade through the market at 1pm
  • 3:30pm: Cardigan Stage Hear about Lord Cardigan and his adventures from storyteller Richard York
  • 3:00pm Charter Stage A Song for Corby Pole Fair 
  • 3:30pm High Street Stage The Plight of the Weavers
  • 4:00pm Outside St John’s The Story of the Parliament Stone
  • 4:30pm Cardigan Stage The Newton Rebellion
  • 5:00pm Charter Stage Ceilidh Jam – Folk Dance Remixed

<< Back to Corby Pole Fair main menu

Updates

Get regular updates at Corby Pole Fair‘s facebook page – or sign up for Made With Many’s e-newsletter.

Share this with your friends