The town watchman had the job of maintaining order in the town at night. He was usually armed with a mace when he walked through the streets singing town watchmen songs at the stroke of every hour. Today you can still follow the town watchmen in the streets of Ringkøbing.
The old custom of having the Town Watchmen, called Vægterne, patrol the streets of Ringkøbing was revived in Ringkøbing about 100 years after the Danish Town Watchmen Corps was repealed. The town watchmen guild in Ringkøbing was reinstated in 1975, and to begin with the town watchmen only walked around the town a few weeks every summer; later that turned into a couple of months each year. The guild has eight members today and they take turns walking the streets at night, singing their town watchmen songs during the summer.
A Song and a Drink
The past history of Ringkøbing becomes vivid, when you follow the town watchmen through the streets of Ringkøbing while they sing their ballads which tell people that its time to go to bed.
Often, the town watchmen also sing to the visitors at the local restaurants and pubs; they get rewarded with a drink, because the pubs in Ringkøbing take good care of the town watchmen. Sometimes they also sing in front of private homes, where the owners are ready to pour them a glass if the town watchmen sing a particular song or a lullabye to their children. The town watchmen guild 'Vægterlauget' always represents Ringkøbing at the European Town Watchmen Festival.
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