SOMERSET DAY CELEBRATIONS

Crewkerne celebrated Somerset Day this year, with the county’s flag flying above many business premises and buildings in the town centre and an indoor craft fair in Victoria Hall on the nearest Saturday to Somerset’s special day. A line of the red and yellow ensigns and white flags with red dragons emblazoned on them, greeted visitors to the George Shopping Centre, creating an historic walkway. Many shop windows joined in the celebrations with the Red Cross charity shop in Falkland Square devoting an entire window to the red and yellow colour theme and showcasing a Somerset flag as their centre piece.

The official Somerset flag of a red dragon on a yellow background was designed by Ed Woods in 2007. The date for the county-wide celebrations was agreed in 2015, following an online public vote, organised by Passion For Somerset, a Somerset community foundation. May 11th is thought to be the date in 878 AD when Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, marched against and defeated the Vikings, with ‘all the people of Somerset’ that he had gathered together. By the time of his death in 899 AD, he had become the dominant ruler in England and is the only English monarch to have been honoured with the title of Great.

Crewkerne Town Council organised the town’s first Somerset Day craft fair, to ‘celebrate Somerset people and their creative abilities.’ The event in Victoria Hall, with a few craft stalls also outside of the town hall, attracted a good variety of crafts, ranging from cards, paintings, ceramics, pebble-craft, jewellery, textiles, knitwear and wooden gifts. The current Mayor of Crewkerne, councillor Robin Pailthorpe said: “It was lovely to see so many people coming and enjoying our first Somerset Day craft fair. I look forward to seeing this event continuing and growing in years to come. It’s a fitting way of celebrating Somerset’s unique heritage.”

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