|Where:||Corfe Castle, Dorset at the Town Hall|
Each Shrove Tuesday the annual meeting of the Ancient Order of Purbeck Marblers and Stonecutters takes place at the Town Hall. Apprentices wanting to join the order have to bring 33p, a quart of ale and a loaf in order to qualify for membership. In days gone by a mass football game used to follow the meeting but nowadays the football is just kicked around in the street. The marblers used to dribble the ball from the village to Owre Quay three miles away, in order to preserve the old right of way along which the quarried stone was transported; on arrival at the Quay, the football was kicked into the water and had pepper tipped over it – a survival from the “peppercorn rent” that used to be paid to the landowner.
Corfe’s is reputedly the smallest Town Hall in the country. The meeting itself is upstairs, for members only (and usually lasts for around an hour or just over depending on the agenda)- but anyone can watch the football in the street. The museum downstairs in the Town Hall has information on the event and photos.
Learn from our mistake – we thought it would be all over by about 2pm and had made arrangements for later in the afternoon so had to regretfully leave while the street football was still in full swing!
In 2018 it will be on Tuesday 13th February.
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