THIS week the News Telegraph is helping the Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Committee make an historic decision that could change the game for years to come.
Committee members want to guage reaction from players and followers of the game before they decide whether to make this year’s move from the Green Man Royal Hotel’s courtyard more permanent.
Should the game turn its back on the Green Man entirely it could bring an end to a tradition thought to date back around 100 years - but many have said that Shrovetide has now out-grown its ‘spiritual home’ and it is time it moved on.
Players, committee members and followers assembled this year at the entrance to Ashbourne Town Hall which allows more space for people to watch the goal being ratified by the committee and this venue is now being considered as a permanent alternative, regardless of what happens to the Green Man this year.
Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Committee chairman Brell Ewart said: “The Green Man tradition goes back 100 years and, prior to that, the game was turned up in the Market Place. Prior to that, the game was in danger of being stopped altogether.
“Since then the Green Man has become the colocquial home of the game but the concern for us now is that it’s a bit of a squeeze in this day and age.
“The escort with the goal scorer will always get through but it looked like there was about 2,000 people in the Market Place on each day this year and we wonder, looking ahead, whether the town hall is now a better venue for ratifying the goal.”
To help the committee guage reaction the News Telegraph is inviting its readers to take part in a poll on this web page.
Letters and comments on our Facebook and Twitter pages will also be passed on to the committee.