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EVENTS IN HISTORY
The Spon End Wakes Week
BY KEVIN NOBLE

The origins of the Spon End Wakes Week are unclear but there are records of an annual Wakes Week taking place more than 200 years ago including a vigil commemorating the dedication of St John the Baptist Church.

It is believed that the traditional date for the Wakes Week was 10 July and this would have later coincided with the Coventry industrial holiday fortnight.

In the 1700's the Wakes was a religious festival and holiday but by the 1800's it had became a festival of fairs with people journeying from neighbouring parishes to join in the merry-making, revelry and hospitality for which it was noted.

At its high point the Wakes Week culminated with a procession of flags attended by a lady on horseback re-enacting Lady Godiva, pony races, flower shows and an ox roasting. At the 19th century Wakes the King of Spon End, Charles Lilly, a kind man and Director of the Poor Relief Board used to hold 'court' at the Black Horse and other local inns, adjudicating in local disputes, issued drinking challenges and rarely being beaten.

In the late 1870s there was a rapid decline, with gingerbread stalls,
hawkers and pedlars and other amusements barred - the fair thus gradually came to an end and the holiday festivities ceased.

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The Spon End Wakes Week is being revived in July 1999 - for more information contact Sarah Fergusson, Festival Committee Chair 01203 230606.

RELATED NEWS: [21 FEB 99] SPON END WAKES WEEK PLANNING UNDERWAY
    

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CWN / Heritage / Events in History / The Spon End Wakes Weeks

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM