Tutti Boys make history

John O’Gaunt School rang the historic, Hocktide changes in Hungerford this Tuesday, for Tutti Day. For the first time in the ancient tradition’s history of celebrating this agricultural custom of tithing and commoners’ rights, the ‘Tutti Girls’ included two boys.

Harry Lardner and Aidan Flanagan had special waistcoats and ties made for them, and joined fellow John O’Gaunt students Samantha Maidment, Holly Hammond and Lexi Thorp among the colourful Tutti Poles of flowers and oranges, and their tithing baskets.

Honouring the tradition at a festivity banned by Henry VIII, reinstated in Elizabethan times and then largely forgotten across the country by the 1800s, Hungerford’s Hocktide Court and traditions are now a unique celebration in the country.

Along with the Orangeman and attendants, the ‘Tutti folk’ visit over a hundred properties that hold Commoner’s Rights, dutifully collecting ‘tithes’ which were traditionally rents but now it’s a symbolic kiss in exchange for an orange from the Orangeman.

It’s a long tradition held by John O’Gaunt School, too. In its own 60 years, many staff and former students of the school have been Tutti Girls … but never before, Tutti Boys.

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