Honiton hot pennies ceremony 2019: update

Honiton’s traditional Hot Pennies ceremony is taking place this coming Tuesday (July 23). However, it is starting from The Holt in High Street – not The Volunteer, as stated on banners in the town centre.

Town crier Dave Retter will lead the event, accompanied by civic leaders at 12 noon.

Dating back to the 13th century, the unbroken tradition dates back more than 700 years.

You can see Mr Retter raise the feted garland pole, topped with a gloved hand, and declare: “No man may be arrested so long as this glove is up.”

From its inception, the ceremony aimed to encourage people into Honiton for the annual fair – without the fear of being arrested. In modern times, the event does not always coincide with the presence of a fair in the town. And there is no guarantee you won’t be arrested, if you have broken the law.

Originally, the first hot pennies were thrown from the balcony of the former Assembly Rooms above The Old Pannier Market – the seat of local government for many years.

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