No battle to enjoy this event

Hocktide 2014 in Hockliffe, MPLO
Hocktide 2014 in Hockliffe, MPLO

Battle re-enactments and a Dark Ages fancy dress competition for adults and children were highlights of the Hocktide event in Hockliffe on Saturday.

Hocktide is a festival that can be traced back to the year 1002, some believe even earlier and is a celebration of a Saxon victory over the Danes who had settled nearly a hundred years before in Alfred the Great’s time.

That led to the idea of one unified kingdom, which became England.

The festival continues in this country, in isolated pockets, and through-out the medieval period and later, travellers would be tied up by the women of the parish and the traveller would have to pay to be released.

The men of the parish would hide in a local inn and celebrate by coercing travellers into buying ale for all present! All the monies raised would then go to local good causes.

Hockliffe has started to reintroduce this festival and the tying tradition in a fun family day.

Councillor Andy Burton said: “This is our first year of recreating Hocktide. We had Wryngwyrm, the Bedfordshire Viking re-enactment group give a display and Dark Age battle re-enactments throughout the day.

“Denise Southard, local parish councillor, dressed as a Saxon Queen and led the ladies in the tying tradition. A bar was provided for the day without any public coercion!

“A large amount was raised for local good causes. We can’t wait to do it again next year.”