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Harwich Mayor Making and Kitchel Throwing
Harwich Mayor Making and Kitchel Throwing

Harwich Mayor Making and Kitchel Throwing 1953


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Harwich Mayor Making and Kitchel Throwing 1953

1 mins United Kingdom

Unique to Harwich, the ancient and jolly tradition of throwing Kitchels, sweet fruit finger buns, from the Guildhall balcony on Mayor Making Day is eagerly received by the local children waiting below to catch and devour the sweet treats. But first the formality of the newly appointed Mayor Sid Simmonds and Lady Mayoress Peggy Simmonds who are presented with their chains of office, and then the fun begins. This was a local TV item which would have had live studio sound.

On the third Thursday in May every year the Guildhall is the scene of the Mayor-making ceremony. After the formal proceedings it is custom for the new Mayor and Mayoress to throw “kitchels” to the crowd of children in the street below. Kitchels are small sweet buns, baked locally and the ceremony is unique to Harwich. Originally for the purpose of spreading goodwill amongst the poor of the town, it has been a local tradition for centuries.

The East Anglian Film Archive, the first and largest Regional Film Archive in England, was established in 1976. Since 1984, EAFA has been owned and operated by the University of East Anglia, Norwich (UEA), to support research and work to preserve our moving image heritage. More than 250 hours are freely available online as examples of the wide range of film which attracts interest the world over.




Traditional costume Mayors Local customs Processions Ceremonies




United Kingdom



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