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Page updated: July 23, 2008
Hatherleigh Beating the Bounds 2007 - 1
May 28th was a bright sunny day. 235 people gathered near the market to beat the bounds in traditional fashion. The actual 'bounds' seem to change slightly each time, according to diehard beaters, especially as the new houses at Moorview tend to sit on the route and have to be traversed (or bypassed) somehow.
The tradition, held every 7 years, was revived in 1899 after a 40 year break, but is believed to date back to medieval times. (No walking took place during the two world wars, if you're doing the maths!) The original aim was to mark the boundary and remind the younger generation of the responsibilities they would one day take over. Some sources claim that the eldest member of the family would be beaten at a particular landmark to reinforce the memory, but in actuality 'beating' refers to making the journey itself - 10 miles in the case of Hatherleigh.
Having said that, above left is Tom Strawbridge being bumped on the Millenium stone 7 years ago ... and this year, see right, being bumped again. (Dennis Bater supplied both pictures)
Deb Laing Trengrove, whose family holds the title of Lord of the Manor, and Geoffrey Cleverdon, Chairman of the Hatherleigh Moor Committee, organised things while Deb herself led the walkers.
Literally all ages took part, with light hearted banter being the order of the day throughout the 5 hours it took to get round. Even 7 year olds walked the entire route without complaining! Now, if you could bottle that ...!
Strangers talked with strangers and it was surprising how many walkers had returned to their home town from far and wide just to take part. It was also surprising how many visitors there were.
Background helpers included the Guides who organised the refreshments.
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