Honiton Hot Pennies – a centuries-old tradition

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - a dip into the archive for 1997

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

The Honiton Hot Pennies ceremony has been going on for centuries, so East Devon Resident decided to take a look back into the archive of 22 years ago.

The tradition sees the now warm pennies thrown at various location in high street, for the gathered people to grab as many as they can.

Various methods of catching the coins are adopted with some using ice cream tubs and beach buckets while others use inverted umbrellas to try to maximise their haul.

The ceremony is thought to date back centuries, with its origins being that well off people in the town would take great delight in seeing the peasants scrabbling around to collect as much of the money as possible.

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant


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Their entertainment was added to by heating the pennies, so those collecting the coins would get their fingers burned.

With the tradition being maintained each year, so it has passed down through the generations, and some of the children pictured here may well have had parents who had enjoyed the event in earlier years, and now have children of their own gathering the coins.

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And the lovely thing about these traditions is that they help to bind community life together in a spirit of camaraderie, as catching techniques are passed down through the generations and developed by young minds.

This year, the Honiton Hot Pennies ceremony is due to take place on Tuesday, July 23.

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

To read more features from East Devon Resident, click here.

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives

Honiton Hot Pennies - July 1997. Picture: Midweek Herald archives - Credit: Archant

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