High Sheriff of Staffordshire to Beat Bounds in Austin Seven Chummy
11th May 2012
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High Sheriff of Staffordshire

Recently, Mrs Sarah Elsom was appointed the new High Sheriff of Staffordshire. Sarah lives in the county and is curator of the Staffordshire Yeomanry museum, located at the Ancient High House in Stafford.

The position of High Sheriff is the oldest secular appointment in existence, dating back to at least the 10th century. According to folk history, Sheriffs could be rather dastardly characters (think of the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham, arch enemy of Robin Hood) but in recent years the High Sheriffs of Staffordshire have been dedicated to raising funds for good causes and charities, supporting projects all over the county.

Another ancient tradition in England and Wales is the fascinating practice of ‘Beating of the Bounds’.  This usually took place on Ascension Day, and was effectively a way of marking and agreeing the outer boundaries of the parish or county.

It was often undertaken by the parish priest and the king’s representative, the Sheriff.  Why the bounds were ‘beaten’ with staves seems to have been obscured by time, maybe it was just a way of flattening bushes and greenery to mark the boundary, or maybe it was a good way to sort out any disputes!

It has been a long time since this tradition was observed in Staffordshire, but High Sheriff, Sarah Elsom  has announced that in 2012 it will be revived as she drives (as far as possible) the boundaries of the entire county in her 1928 Austin Seven ‘Chummy’, ably assisted by many other Austin Seven drivers. 

The event will take place over the August Bank holiday weekend (25th – 27th August), covering a route of over 225 miles!

There will be lots of brilliant events taking place all along the route at some fabulous venues. All are open to the public and designed to raise funds to support the work of SSAFA (the Soldiers, Sailors and Army Families Association). 


For more information e-mail Lucy Leigh at lucy.leigh@ci-bcp.com


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Mark N

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Having lived either in or close to Lichfield for nearly 40 years I've come to love the city very much.
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