SOUTH Molton is honouring the town s ancient traditions during Olde English Fayre week, which started yesterday (Thursday). The four-day event – that dates back to the 12th century and was confirmed by the first Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I

SOUTH Molton is honouring the town's ancient traditions during Olde English Fayre week, which started yesterday (Thursday).

The four-day event - that dates back to the 12th century and was confirmed by the first Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590 - is set to turn the clock back on the summer celebrations of days gone by.

This year's fayre - part of the North Devon Festival's Community and Heritage strand, sponsored by the North Devon Gazette - started with a coffee morning in the town's Assembly Rooms. Sequence dancing took place in the church hall, Duke Street, that evening from 7.30pm.

Today (Friday), judging of the best-dressed window competition, starts at 6pm, when the town's Square will be closed to traffic until 6pm the following day.

On Saturday, there'll be Victorian fairground rides and a famers' and craft market in the Square, while at 10.50am the spotlight will fall upon the guard of honour and fayre proclamation, followed by the crowing of the queen at 11am.

This year's queen will be South Molton Junior School pupil Bailey Tonkins. She will be joined by classmates, crown bearer Saranna Tetchner, and attendants Jasmin Hosegood and Paige Milton. Her page boys are Ibraham Kanj and Oliver Clark, both from South Molton Community Infants' School.

The crowning is followed by the floral dance, led around the Square by the South Molton Band; clog dancing by the Red Petticoats; and the fayre lunch at 1pm.

The day will also feature Punch and Judy shows at 10am, 12.15pm and 2.15pm, as well as senior citizens' teas in the Assembly Rooms at 3.30pm and children's teas in the pannier market at 4pm.

At 5pm, the youngsters will entertain fair-goers in a "Teen Talent" competition in the pannier market.

"It's a cross between South Molton's Got Talent and the X-Factor and should be a lot of fun," said fayre secretary Margaret White.

The day will end with the "Showstoppers" concert by the South Molton & District Choral Society in Assembly Rooms from 7.30pm.

On Sunday, a summer craft fair and North Devon's new Movie Bus will be in the pannier market from 10am.

The civic parade from the town hall to the parish church starts at 10.40am, with a fayre service taking place at 11am.

At 2.30pm adults and children are invited to meet at the Mole Bridge to take part in a "Beating the Bounds" event, a 2,000 year old tradition that is being revived at this year's fayre - for the first time since the 1960s.

And don't forget to save a bit of energy for Monday evening. There's a fun run starting at the Community College sports track at 6pm.