People in top hats and tailcoats deliver oranges in a town as part of a long tradition.
The Hocktide Festival in Hungerford dates back to when John of Gaunt granted commoners grazing and fishing rights in the Kennet River.
All day was part of a tradition that witnessed “Tutti-men” walking through town to collect the rents of commoners.
Over the years, this day – the second Tuesday after Easter – has instead evolved into the Tutti men going to collect kisses.
Before that, Tutti men and women had begun to visit about 100 homes and businesses, bringing with them pillars decorated with ribbons, flowers and an orange.
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Historically, Tutti men had the right to kiss any girl in town on that day, exchanging the kiss for an orange.
The tradition continues but residents no longer have to kiss back if they don’t want to.
But Eileen Bowyer, who had received both an orange and a kiss from her before, said: “I suppose it was a pretty fun thing in the old days.”
The tutti men were accompanied by the orange man, who carried the oranges.
Oranges in recognition of the town’s support of William of Orange, who negotiated the terms of his reign as King William Ill at the Hungerford’s Bear Hotel in 1688.
Hocktide takes place for two weeks each year. Organizers call it “the most important day in Hungerford’s calendar”.
Tutti-man Simon Lee Smith said: “It’s a medieval celebration and it’s basically celebrating the agricultural calendar’s transition from winter to summer, and it’s all about giving people the opportunity to loose hair, but it also has an 800-year tradition.
“It has evolved into exchanging oranges for kisses instead of collecting rent that the Tutti men did in the past.
“Being a Tutti man is a custom practiced today, very similar to what was done centuries ago, and it’s really important that we continue this unique opportunity to honor honor tradition.”
Tutti-woman Kate Edwards added: “It’s exciting, but to think we’re part of this ancient tradition is also really exciting.”
Julie Lloyd, police chief of Hungerford Town and Manor, said: “A lot of hard work has been put into the Hocktide celebration to ensure its continued success as it is an event. that the people of the town look forward to every year.
“We are extremely proud of Hungerford’s connection to this truly historic event and remain determined to preserve it for many years to come, especially as we believe we are currently the only one left standing. traditional.”
The Hocktide festival ends on Sunday with a parade and a police service.