Honiton’s annual Hot Pennies Day, which marks the opening of Fair Week, took place on Tuesday 23rd July. The Town Crier, Mayor and Deputy Mayor followed the flower garlanded pole topped by a golden glove through the town centre which was temporarily closed to traffic, followed by a large crowd of locals and visitors alike.
Honiton’s Hot Pennies Ceremony dates back to the 13th Century when the wealthy residents of Honiton would throw hot coins to peasants on the street below and enjoy watching them burn their fingers while trying to collect the change. Nowadays the pennies are merely warm!
The first stop was at The Volunteer Inn, where the Town Crier made the traditional cry of “Oyez, oyez, oyez. The Glove is up. The Fair has begun. No man shall be arrested, until The Glove is taken down. God Save the Queen” which was enthusiastically repeated by the crowd. Pennies were then thrown from the pub’s first floor window.
The action then moved up the High Street to opposite the Honiton office, where the procedure was repeated, and from there at two further venues in the High Street. The Glove finally came to rest at the first floor of The Three Tuns public house, where it will remain for the week.
WBW Solicitors staff from our Honiton Office took the opportunity to hand out more than 150 eco-friendly canvas bags to the waiting crowd to collect their sway – or for shopping as the case may be!