Beating the Bounds and Lunch at Haz
17th June 2015
On 17 June, we marked St Botolph’s Day by Beating the Bounds of Aldersgate Ward. Over forty members and guests took part, accompanied by sixteen pupils from Prior Weston Primary School. The children looked great in their Dickensian costumes, reminding us of the historical significance of this traditional event.
The day began in St Botolph’s without Aldersgate, our Ward Church. The Guild Vicar, Rev’d Simon Dowdy, welcomed us with a short address. We then proceeded outside into Postman’s Park, where everyone was issued with a willow wand, ready for the first ‘Beat’.
Led by a member of the Ward Club, everyone chanted the historic warning to apprentices – “Cursed be he who removeth his brother’s landmark” – as we beat the ground to mark the boundary of the Ward.
It is our tradition at each Beat to toss three times in a fireman’s blanket any child who volunteers – which they all do, of course! This causes great hilarity amongst young and old alike.
On our route around the Bounds of the Ward during the course of the morning, we stopped eight times for a Beat at significant places (click here to see the 'Beat Map'). These included the Ironmongers’ Hall and the Pewterers’ Hall, at both of which we were invited inside for some welcome refreshments, and an insight from their Clerks into the history and traditions of these honourable companies.
The Beat finished on the terrace outside the Barbican Estate Office, where further refreshments were served, before we adjourned to the nearby Haz restaurant for a well-earned lunch.
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