Route change saves Hot Pennies tradition

PUBLISHED: 10:28 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:28 30 April 2013

With the glove at the Honiton hot pennies ceremony are Dave Retter,Dave Foster and Lyn Hargood. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhh 8586-30-12TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

With the glove at the Honiton hot pennies ceremony are Dave Retter,Dave Foster and Lyn Hargood. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhh 8586-30-12TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Route changed in response to road closure rules and regulations.

The route of Honiton’s ancient hot pennies celebration is to be changed to ensure the annual tradition can continue.

The changes are in response to rules and regulations regarding road closures.

It is believed it is the first time for more than three decades that the route has had to be altered for the tradition, which dates back to the 13th century, when the town was granted its Royal Charter, writes Katy Griffin.

Town crier Dave Retter, who is a member of the Hot Pennies Committee, said: “It is the first time in about 33 years that we have had to change the route.”

The start has been changed from the Old Pannier Market to the other end of town.

He told the Midweek Herald the reason for the change was due to the road closure regulations and increasing paperwork involved in the organisation of the event. The altered route means Dowell Street only has to be closed once.

He added: “For the last two or three years, Hot Pennies has been a bit complicated with road closures being one of the main problems.”

Organisers no longer get help from the police to close the roads and have had to take on the responsibilities themselves and can only divert traffic not stop it.

The new route will start at the Volunteer Inn then move on to the Holt and go back up through the town to Café 102 Bar.

The glove will then be raised at the Old Pannier Market, by Peter Betteridge The Bed Expert, where it will finish.

Honiton Town Council has sponsored volunteers to receive specialist training for this year’s event, as it did last year, which allows trained members of the public to close the road.

Mr Retter said: “We want to say a big thank you to Chesterton Humberts and the town council for getting right behind us and helping the event to continue.”

Both have sponsored the road closure signs for this year’s event, which takes place on Tuesday, July 23.

At last year’s event, there were a few problems with road closures, which organisers say they have learnt from and hope to avoid this year.

Mr Retter added: “Hot Pennies is very important and has always been a part of Honiton and we hope this continues.

“If we have got to make alterations to make sure the event continues, we have got to.”

Visitors and locals are invited to get involved in one of the town’s special traditions.

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