Anorak News | In photos: Hallerton hare pie scramble and bottle kicking

In photos: Hallerton hare pie scramble and bottle kicking

by | 6th, April 2013

IN photos: the Easter Monday Hallerton hare pie scramble and bottle kicking. The aim is to get three barrels across two streams a mile apart, by, pretty much, any means possible. Two of the bottles (actually small keg) are fileld with bear. The third is a made of solid wood. The hare pie is tossed to the crowd.

In 2005, Hallaton resident and Chairman of the event Phil Allan, 47, explained the rules to the BBC:

“There are two streams about a mile apart, and the idea is to get the bottle to your village’s stream, winning a point each time. A different bottle is used for each point played and the first village to two points wins. The rules are very simple; there aren’t any. There are a few injuries, such as broken bones and things like that but most people are unharmed…”

An eyewitness reported:

The Hallaton side are trying to get the bottle down the hill and over the brook behind the Bewick Arms, while the Medbourne team are trying to get it over the fields for a mile or so towards their village… There were a lot of lads there wearing rugby shirts and the scramble to get at the bottle and to move it in the required direction, often resembled a huge rugby scrum. Every now and then someone would get loose and either throw the bottle or try to run with it, but it usually never got more than a few feet before falling to the ground, where it was either kicked or dragged along by the mass of men… It was pretty rough in there but there was no deliberate kicking or punching, everyone seemed intent on getting the bottle or pushing the melee in the relevant direction. It reminded me very much of the pike pushes that I used to get involved in when I used to do English Civil war battle re-enactments with the Sealed Knot society (only without the weapons and armour). 


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Villagers participate in the traditional game of bottle kicking at Hallaton, Leicestershire.

Posted: 6th, April 2013 | In: Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink