Wednesday 2 May 2012

Hungerford, Berkshire, Hocktide Festival 1912.

Hungerford, Berkshire, Hocktide Festival 1912. The Hocktide Festival is now only practised in Hungerford. This medieval festival was once common in English until the 18th century. The second Tuesday after Easter Sunday is known as Tutti Day and all sorts of strange festivities occur. This year it was held on the 17th of April. This postcard was apparently photographed or published by 'A. Barratt, Press Photographer, Fleet Street, London'. Click the postcard to enlarge.

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  1. Have you any idea about what is going on, Howard? Looks like some form of ceremony with an ofeering(?) at the end of the pole.

  2. I think you are right Bob, they are offering something on the end of the pole. Even at very high resolution I cannot see what is being offered.

  3. Oh you have to read the Wikipedia entry. It's the Tutti Man collecting his penny or a kiss from the lady of the house.

    "The Tutti Men carry Tutti Poles: wooden staffs topped with bunches of flowers and a cloved orange. These are thought to have derived from nosegays which would have mitigated the smell of some of the less salubrious parts of the town in times past. The Tutti Men are accompanied by the Orange Man (or Orange Scrambler), who wears a hat decorated with feathers and carries a white sack filled with oranges, and Tutti Wenches who give out oranges and sweets to the crowds in return for pennies or kisses.
    The proceedings start at 8 am with the sounding of the horn from the Town Hall steps which summons all the commoners to the attend the Court at 9 am, after which the Tutti Men visit each of the 102 houses in turn. They no longer collect rents, but demand a penny or a kiss from the lady of the house when they visit. In return the Orange Man gives the owner an orange."

  4. Haha! Things don't change much in Hungerford (except for the number of balloons)! Here are some photos of this year's Hocktide :-)



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