Ancient royal charters shown to visitors

Words and photo by Dave Barry

Royal charters presented to Scarborough in medieval times were shown to a group of visitors at the town hall.

The velum and parchment documents still have the royal wax seals attached; some are as big as a dinner plate.

They are normally kept locked up in a large cabinet which is rarely opened, to protect the precious contents.

The visitors, from Scalby & Newby Women’s Institute, were being given a conducted tour of the town hall by the mayor and mayoress, Martin and Cherry Smith.

They looked around the council chamber, the cabinet room, the mayor's parlour and the civic parlour with their beautiful stone fireplaces set with polished gems and stones collected on local beaches.

“In the corridor we saw the silver mace, which must be in the council chamber when it is in session, and many other displays, photographs and paintings”, said one of the visitors, Anne Flint.

The mayor's parlour contains some of the many gifts presented by visiting dignitaries to Scarborough over the years.

“There is a photograph of Churchill's visit and we even saw the chair he sat in”, Anne said.

“After the visit, we continued with a social evening at the Royal Hotel”.