Mayor of Camden puts best foot forward

Fifty Camden staff and residents spent Saturday on the road with the Mayor of Camden and came back as Freemen of Highgate.

During a well earned break from a seventeen mile charity walk, each of the walkers was invested as a Freeman by ‘Swearing on the Horns’ at The Flask pub, Highgate.

The all-day walk closely followed the path of the ancient ceremony of ‘Beating The Bounds’, a rite previously undertaken by parish officials to settle boundary disputes. The officials would walk along the exact boundary, even if that meant carrying ladders to scale walls or trampling through their flower beds.

No gardens were disturbed by the 2007 walk, although the route took the walkers past some of Camden’s best kept secrets. Led by local historian Malcolm Holmes, those taking part saw the jousting ground of the Knights Templar, a Romany caravan and the homes of famous figures like Charles Dickens, William Blake and Yehudi Menuhin.

Cllr Jill Fraser, Mayor of Camden said:

"I'm really pleased so many people were able to join me for the walk and really pleased the sun shone for us too. It was fascinating to learn a bit more about the history of the borough as we walked the seventeen miles. And it was all in a good cause – everyone who did the walk raised money for my chosen charities, the NSPCC and SportsAid."

Notes to editors

Pictures are available on request.

’Swearing on the Horns’ dates back to the seventeenth century when taverns in Highgate kept animal horns to initiate passing travellers. It is thought the horns used for the ceremony are over 200 years old.

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Reference code: 07/149
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