Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Feeling Hot. Hot. Hot!

Obviously not the weather! As another deluge hits Seaton (and most other places too I suspect) I've been stuck in the house twiddling my thumbs, (what housework? I don't see any housework!) I did try a bit of seawatching earlier but the wind is too southerly, making finding a sheltered spot nigh on impossible, so instead I've been clearing out some of the old dross in my pictures folder on the computer. Whilst doing this I came across some pictures from this time last year, taken in Honiton during their 'Hot Pennies Ceremony'. I think this year's ceremony was last week, so still a topical subject, just! I'd never heard of it until we happened to be shopping in Honiton last year and got caught up in the gridlock.

This strange tradition allegedly originates from the 13th century, when bored noblemen staying in local hostelries threw scolding hot pennies down into the street to watch 'the poor' fight over them and suffer minor burns in the process! Hilarious! Those were the days! (unless you were one of 'the poor' obviously). Today, having not heard of inflation, they still use pennies, which fortunately aren't at all worth fighting over and I suspect are merely only warmish too. Quite frankly in these health and safety obsessed times I'm amazed it's still allowed at all! The main participants these days are local school children, who are allowed off school during the ceremony.

The excited (!?) crowds reach skyward as the pennies fall

Martha just couldn't hold back, but does have the excuse of youthful exuberance, not so the man lunging in on the right, ready to snatch that penny from right under her nose. He must be in his forties!!

Here's a little video showing the general hysteria (I could understand it it they were throwing chocolate buttons! ;-) ) Check out the frantic woman in the turquoise top, she looks 'old enough to know better' to me! At one point she actually snatches up money virtually from the hands of a small boy! Unbelievable!

Although it was very windy last night with rain forecast to arrive by midnight I still stuck my moth trap out on the back yard to see what it could catch in just an hour and a half. The answer was five moths, with three being new for my 'garden'. They were large and lesser Yellow Underwing, and the scintillating Shuttle-shaped Dart. I also caught a lovely Jersey Tiger, which I kept (along with the Shuttle-shaped Dart) until this morning in order to get a photo or two, and here they are.


John said...


I know Honiton very well, but never knew anything of the tradition of throwing the Pennies about, I would have thought there might have been a few Bankers chasing after the Pennies too....ouch!
Nice Moths, esp the Jersy Tiger, what Moth trap do you use, as I keep telling myself to get one.


Karen Woolley said...

Hi John,

If you look at this post on my blog.

Probably easier to look for the title 'my new moth trap' in my previous posts menu.

You'll be able to read about my trap and where I got it, with link to website.

I've made a few adjustments to the trap as outlined in my blog.

And I thoroughly recommend mothing! :-)