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Julie Hunt won the trophy for the Best Artwork at Hanbury Hall exhibition 2016. Her colour pencil drawing delighted all visitors with cute subject and perfect execution. More »

Westacre School pupils present their design for the Mural 2016

Westacre School pupils designed the Mural 2016 with the theme of Edward Winslow, his journey on Mayflower and his relationship with Native American chief. More »

ArtsFest 2017

ArtsFest 2017 is coming this summer! Be prepared for an art attack! More »

DAN annual exhibition at Hanbury Hall

Each year DAN members hold an annual exhibition in the prestigious venue, Long Gallery at Hanbury Hall. More »

Yarn Bombing 2015

In Summer 2015 DAN members and local crafters organised a yarn bombing project in the Victoria Square in Droitwich. More »

DAN members artwork selection

DAN members are very diverse in their artistic expressions - there are the excellent watercolourists, oil painters, photographers... More »

 

800 Years Celebration of King John’s Droitwich Royal Charter

Droitwich Salt Slaves

serf -1By Alan Davey

In 1215 slavery had nearly disappeared in England. This was due to the attitude of the church, who ruled people’s minds in the 13th century. The bishop of Worcester banned the exporting of slaves and so did William the Conqueror at the port of Bristol. The Norman’s feudal system did not need slavery; it had serfdom.

In spite of this, Droitwich, then known as Wich, was an unusual place. It had a concentration of unskilled workers working around the clock in shifts, cutting wood, feeding furnaces, continually stirring salt out of boiling brine, and transporting the salt by packhorse. It was a densely populated industrial centre of workers performing difficult and dangerous tasks night and day in a very dirty and smokey environment – a rare thing in England at that time. Due to the poor condition of the roads, salt manufacture in Wich could only be achieved during the summer months. In those days, salt was essential for preserving food; without it folk would starve during the winter.

King John’s Royal Charter Day in Droitwich

Royal SealBy Royal Seal the citizens of the Town Wich, known as Droitwich, are commanded to attend and witness the Royal Charter presentation ceremony and festivities.

The Royal Charter was signed by King John in Bridgenorth on August 1st 1215, about seven weeks after signing the Magna Carta on 15th June 1215. Four or five merchants from Wich, headed by the elected Reeve (chief), was granted an audience and knowing that John was desperately in need of money, struck a bargain that benefited both parties. The king let at the yearly rental of £100 (over £100,000 in today’s money) all his royal rights to the town of Wich.