THE villagers of Randwick will be enjoying a  traditional festival dating from the 12th century when the Randwick Wap takes place on Saturday May 10.

The event proved a little too popular in the late 1800s, when it was banned due to concerns over riotous and drunken behaviour, but it was revived in 1972 and has become one of the highlights of the village year.

The event has already started with the blessing of three Wap Cheeses on Sunday, each cheese then being rolled three times round the church. One was shared out and the other two kept for Cheese Rolling.

Saturday’s event starts at 1pm at the War Memorial, when the new Wap Mayor Jane Cant and Wap Queen Francesca Bilton will be ‘cried in’ by Town Crier Stan Giles, then carried in procession to the Mayor’s Pool, their route being cleared by Mop Man Merci Rebati and Apprentice Blythe Packard, wielding wet mops.

At the Pool the new Mayor and Queen will be doused with spring water, the Mayor’s Song will be sung, and the procession will continue to the Well Leaze for the cheese rolling.

Then it’s on to the Village Fields where the fun really starts. This year’s event features the Marcher Stuarts Living History and Military Group, portraying life in Stuart England, there’ll be action from Joe Dymond and the Stroud Shaolin Martial Arts Display, plus a Fun Dog Show.

Local organisations and charities will be running stalls with prize draws, competitions, and tempting goodies to buy, all to raise money for good causes. And the festivities continue into the evening, with a Children’s Disco at the Village Hall from 6.30pm, and the sharing of the Mayor’s Jug and live music at the Vine Tree Inn from 8.30pm.

Wap Mayor Jane Cant says: “I’m very proud and honoured to have been elected Mayor. I’ve lived in the village for over 20 years, and enjoyed the Wap as a time when the village can gather together to enjoy a historic pageant and have some fun.”