Covid cancels 259-year-old Alnwick Shrove Tuesday tradition for a second year

An uncommon city tradition is on maintain for yet one more year as a result of Covid-19.

Alnwick’s annual Shrovetide Football match, which has taken place every year between the rival parishes of St Michael and St Paul for a whole bunch of years, won’t go forward in 2021, organisers have introduced.

According to specialists at Alnwick’s Bailiffgate museum, Shrovetide ball video games have been performed in England since not less than the twelfth century and Alnwick is certainly one of 5 such occasions which nonetheless happen within the nation on Shrove Tuesday.

The match has been performed within the pastures since 1828, when it was moved out of the city centre as a result of concern about “harm and mayhem” within the streets.

Played with “enthusiasm, vigour and few guidelines”, the Alnwick sport has no set time or marked pitch however as an alternative ends when one of many groups scores two ‘Hales’, therefore the sport’s alternate title, ‘scoring the hales’. The motion is began when the ball is hurled right down to the gamers from the partitions of Alnwick Castle.

At the tip of the sport, the ball is thrown into the freezing waters of the Aln and hardy gamers leap in to assert the match ball by getting it to the far financial institution.

The sport was referred to as off final year, near the very starting of the Covid-19 lockdown.

In the previous, video games have been referred to as off 38 occasions, variously as a result of bereavements at Alnwick Castle, world wars, and unhealthy climate. In in 1972, document show that “steady rain and gales all morning made it inconceivable to realize entry to erect the tent”, forcing an finish to the festivities.

A spokesperson for the organising committee mentioned: “If the North East Area Authorities had remained below Government Tier 3 coronavirus guidelines there was a slight risk the sport might have gone forward between the parishes of St Michael and St Paul with security restrictions concerned.

“However, following a zoom assembly on January twentieth, the Committee unanimously agreed to cancel the 2021 match taking the well being and security of everybody concerned into consideration.”

Now, locals are being inspired to spend Shrove Tuesday (pancake day, February 16), studying extra in regards to the annual occasion from the security of their houses. In 2012, the Gallery Youth Project and Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery shot ‘The Lads and Lasses of Alnwick’, a brief movie capturing the story of the annual match, which a museum spokesperson mentioned gives an “intriguing perception” into the tradition.

The 193rd sport since 1828 is now set to be performed on March 1 2022. In the meantime, ‘The Lads and Lasses of Alnwick’ could be watched at



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