This film is part of Free

Punky Night at Hinton St George

Some punky goings on at dusk

News 1977 1 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Children parade through the streets of Hinton St George in Somerset on the last Thursday of October. Children have hollowed out pumpkins or mangelwurzels, a type of animal fodder turnip to make lanterns following a tradition in this part of West Somerset that coincides with Halloween. Punky or Punkie Night is thought to date from the turn of the 20th century or perhaps medieval times chanting rhymes and following a Punkie King and Queen.

The villagers and children march dressed as witches and warlocks in homemade masks. The first lanterns were made by village wives who went out in search of their husbands to bring them home from the local Chiselborough Fair. They needed the lights to see where they were going on a stormy night and hollowed out the mangelwurzels and placed a lit candle inside.