Thursday, July 25, 2024

Hocktide in Hungerford – 9th April.  Be there!

The ancient tradition of Hocktide, a celebration and ceremony after Easter, was once common across the country’s towns in medieval times.  It was an important time of the year when rents were collected, judgements made and the rights of a town asserted.  Thought to date from King Alfred’s expulsion of the Vikings, today it survives in just one – Hungerford.

In Hungerford, it flourished as a general celebration associated with the town’s great patron, John of Gaunt, but the tradition today is rigorously maintained by the Town and Manor of Hungerford charity which owns a lot of property and land in the town.  And the highlight of Hocktide is Tutti Day, this year on 9th April, when everyone can get involved with the town-wide celebrations across the day from 9am to 9pm and join the traditional Hocktide luncheon in Hungerford Town Hall (a ticket is required).

Check-out the schedule on the Town and Manor website.  As well as the ancient traditions of the Hocktide Court and the Tutti Men traversing the town, there are Hocktide Children’s activities in the United Reformed Church from 10am to 12 noon. All are welcome, no tickets are required and it’s totally free of charge.  Later on at 7.30pm there’s the Hungerford Town Band Concert in the Town Hall.  Again, it’s free and all are very welcome.

Tickets for the luncheon – a four-course extravaganza – cost £55 per person can be purchased by the public from Crown Needlework (opposite the Town Hall) on 01488 684011 and from the Town and Manor’s website –  The general public selects ‘non-commoner’ tickets.

Photos by kind permission of Town & Manor