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Melksham joins Salisbury’s Magna Carta parade

Students from Melksham Oak School with the baron puppet

Students from Melksham Oak School with the baron puppet

MELKSHAM joined in this week’s celebrations in Salisbury to mark 800 years of the Magna Carta, where a giant baron and banner made by local volunteers were paraded to the iconic cathedral.

Melksham Oak pupils and a number of local volunteers carried the giant baron and banner through the streets of Salisbury in front of thousands of spectators on Monday.

Community area manager Rhys Schell carried the baron.

Rhys said, “Melksham was proudly represented by 12 Melksham Oak pupils, teachers, community volunteers and local Wiltshire Council officers.

“The procession lasted about an hour with us walking the baron and banner through the streets of Salisbury in front of thousands of spectators, ending up at Salisbury Cathedral.

“The children were singing, chanting and blowing whistles throughout the noisy procession and created a great atmosphere. The spectacular finale was then carried out in front of the Cathedral.

“We chose the motto ‘Young, Bright, and Going Places’ for the banner because of the significant contribution from young people during this project. The ‘bright’ aspect also explains the orange outfits!”

Preparations for the pageant took place across Melksham involving schools and groups from across the town.

The baron puppet was decorated and designed by pupils from Melksham Oak School led by teachers Natasha Gregory and Nicola Burkinshaw.

The banner was decorated and designed by the community, with the help of a local artist Karolyn Pike.

A community workshop was held with numerous young people and local volunteers attending. There were also contributions from children from St George’s Primary School in Semington.

Bunting was created by Crazy about Knitting and shields were made by Melksham Brownies.

The celebrations took place eight centuries to the day since King John met the group of rebel barons at Runnymede and consented to a series of promises for new civic liberties ranging from the protection of church rights to access to swift and fair justice.

The Magna Carta was one of the first official documents to protect human rights and freedom. Its influence can be seen in modern charters such as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.