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Green Man or the Town Hall?

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

By GARETH BUTTERFIELD

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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.

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  • Lynnshooter  |  February 22 2013, 8:27AM

    Although it is traditionally the home of the Shrovetide ball, it would be more accessible by a large crowd if the ball were taken back back to the town hall. If the balcony could be used, everyone would see the ball and the scorer easily. A few years ago when i was lucky enough to get s spot on the steps looking into the Boswell Bar I saw the barmen bracing themselves against the bar to stop it being pushed over by the sheer numbers of people. I'm sure that probably happened every year, but i only witnessed it on the one occasion. I vote for the Town Hall

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