APPLEBY has been named as an honorary Quidditch town to celebrate the release of a new book by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

Qudditch, to the very few who have not read the Harry Potter series, is a fictional game for wizards which involves broomsticks and throwing a ball through hoops in the sky.

Bloomsbury Publishing, who published JK Rowling's new ‘Quidditch Through The Ages Illustrated Edition’ presented the Mayor of Appleby with a special momento celebrating the town’s fictitious Quidditch team, Appleby Arrows.

Cllr Gareth Hayes and two young Potter fans were given a decorative banner featuring gold Quidditch hoops at Low Cross.

Cllr Hayes said: “We are delighted to be recognised as an honorary Quidditch town. Harry Potter’s favourite sport Quidditch brings joy to children and adults across the world, and this decorative banner, emblazoned with the town’s team colours, shows our support for our beloved Quidditch team.”

Jane, a nine-year-old pupil at Appleby Primary School said: “I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and dream of playing Quidditch, so I’m really happy to find out that I now live in an honorary Quidditch town.

“I loved visiting the sign and it’s great that Appleby has been honoured in this way.”

During the official ceremony, the young Harry Potter fans were presented with their own Nimbus 2000 broomsticks.

A spokesman from Bloomsbury Publishing said: “Harry Potter fans can now unearth the real-life towns and villages inspiring the names of Quidditch teams and we ask anyone planning a visit to Appleby to first check national and local travel guidance on coronavirus to ensure their visit is made safely.

"For communities that are currently experiencing stricter measures, we encourage people to support their favourite Quidditch team virtually by visiting the official Harry Potter fan club, Wizarding World.”