After being in abeyance since 2011, the old tradition of electing the Haxey Townsmen & the letting of the meres took place again on Easter Monday.
The meres appear to be left over parts of what was common land before enclosure in the late 18C. Unlike the Parish land, they have been managed by local people known as Mere Men (often referred to as Townsmen) and now Mere Women. The mere persons are elected informally from anyone who attends mere lettings, they manage the letting and general running of the meres until a meeting elects someone new.
The Meres are often small and have footpaths upon them leaving them having no farming value; some are bigger and have some financial value and can be used in a small-scale way.
The Haxey Townsmen are elected annually, while at Westwoodside, where the tradition has continued, they are elected every three years, and the letting is carried out by the traditional bidding by the pin & candle method, the first mere letting took place in the 1830’s.This year's event took place in the Kings.
Old Haxey tradition revived
Click thumbnail for Townsmen/Mere letting in the Duke William 1995