The day of the Tutti Men!

on 30 April 2014.

It takes from 9am in the morning to 9pm at night, with pause for lunch of course, for the Tutti Men of Hungerford to complete their traditional tour of the town, collecting ‘head pennies’, as they have since medieval times.

Hungerford is now thought to be the only town still to celebrate Tutti Day, or Hocktide.

Traditionally, Tutti Men, carrying two metre long staves decorated with sweet-smelling spring flowers, visit every householder with commoner’s right in Hungerford. They ask for a kiss from the lady of each house and are offered hospitality wherever they go.

In 2014, the Tutti Men were actually Tutti Ladies, Helen James and Eileen Bowyer, so things changed a bit – but brave Eileen still climbed the tradition ladder to claim a kiss from her husband, Michael.

They are accompanied by Tutti wenches from year 10 of John O’Gaunt school and also by the Orangeman, Paul Lewington, who presents an orange to each lady to be kissed.

It is also the Orangeman’s duty to ensure the Tutti Men return safely to the Town Hall – after accepting ‘hospitality’ and kisses from around 100 houses. In years gone by, this wasn’t always an easy or sober task.

Julian Tubb, Town Crier, Bellman and Assistant Bailiff of Hungerford heads off, after a hearty breakfast the the Three Swans, to perform his first duty of the day...

...heralding in Tutti Day by sounding the Newton horn from the balcony of Hungerford Town Hall.

Tutti wenches are selected from year 10 of John O’Gaunt School and are chaperoned on their duties by JoG’s Rita Colclough.

Kathy Bossom at Crown Needlework is the first to welcome the Tutti-men.

Meanwhile the Hock-tide Court starts the business of the day.

Robert James addresses the Hocktide Court.

Town and Manor Constable Susan Hofgartner presides over the Hocktide court, seated in the Elizabethan John O’Gaunt chair, while Greg Furr takes the oath.

Last minute preparations at Charles Lucas Marshall.

Estate Agent Marc Allen is called upon by the Tutti Men

Orangeman Paul Lewington begins to wonder how Hock-tide could possibly have survived 6 centuries without the helpful guidance from local televison.

A rapturous welcome!

Business as ususal for some.

Hock-tide wreaths on Commoners' doors.

Click here to find out what happens when the Tutti-men visit.

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