Hungerford - Hocktide

Hocktide

Hungerford is the only place in the country to have continuously celebrated Hocktide or Tutti Day (the second Tuesday after Easter). Today it marks the end of the town council's financial and administrative year, but in the past it was a more general celebration associated with the town's great patron, John of Gaunt (see below). Its origins are thought lie in celebrations following King Alfred's expulsion of the Danes.

The 'Bellman' (or Town Crier) summons the Commoners of the town to the Hocktide Court held at the town hall, while two florally decorated 'Tutti Men' and the 'Orange Man' visit every house with commoners' rights (almost a hundred properties), accompanied by around six Tutti Girls, drawn from the local school. Originally they collected 'head pennies' to ensure fishing and grazing rights. Today, they largely collect kisses from each lady of the house. In the court, the town's officers are elected for the coming year and the accounts examined. The court manages the town hall, the John of Gaunt Inn, the Common, Freemen's Marsh, and fishing rites in the Rivers Kennet and Dun.

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Other articles related to "hocktide":

Hocktide Today
... Hocktide in Hungerford now combines the ceremonial collecting of the rents with something of the previous tradition of demanding kisses or money ... Although the Hocktide celebrations take place over several days, the main festivities occur on the Tuesday, which is known as Tutti Day ... The Hocktide Council, which is elected on the previous Friday, appoints two Tutti Men whose job it is to visit the properties attracting Commoner's Rights ...