Appleby took its place in film history today as it was named an official town of quidditch, the sport which features in the Harry Potter series of books.
Appleby has been immortalised in the franchise by author JK Rowling who created the fictional team Appleby Arrows as one of the first teams in quidditch’s history.
The team is detailed in Rowling’s book Quidditch Through The Ages which is being rereleased this week with a new edition illustrated by Emily Gravett.
Appleby mayor Gareth Hayes was accompanied by two pupils from the town’s primary school to receive a decorative banner and iconic goal hoop bearing the crest and team name to honour Appleby’s role in the Harry Potter companion book this morning.
Mr Hayes said: “We are very excited about this — this is champagne moment and the icing on the cake for new opportunities to engage with a new population of interested tourists.
“I’ve been to King’s Cross Station where the Harry Potter fictional platform exists and seen the hoards of fans.
“We don’t know what to expect but hope this will bring visitors to Appleby to have their photos taken with the banner.
“I identify very much with the Harry Potter sense of school days and having teachers as heroes and villains!”
Appleby is one of 11 towns in the UK which have received the honour of being named in the wizarding world’s quidditch league.
This includes Ballycastle (Ballycastle Bats), Caerphilly (Caerphilly Catapults), Falmouth (Falmouth Falcons), Holyhead (Holyhead Harpies), Kenmare (Kenmare Kestrels), Montrose (Montrose Magpies), Portree (Pride of Portree), Tutshill (Tutshill Tornados), Wigtown (Wigtown Wanderers), and the Appleby Arrow’s arch-rivals Wimborne (Wimborne Wasps).
The fictional sport features throughout Rowling’s fantasy series and sees players fly through the sky on broomsticks. Harry Potter himself played as seeker for his house team at Hogwarts aiming to catch the illusive golden snitch.
Quidditch Through The Ages was published yesterday from Bloomsbury Publishing.