If you’re going to be paraded through the streets of Combe Martin on a donkey then it’s always best to do it in bright sunshine.

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

That was the fate of the hapless fugitive the Earl of Rone this evening (Monday) as a huge procession of villagers made its way down the main street in the conclusion of the village’s unique spring bank holiday custom.

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone sees a procession of characters parading through Combe Martin on each day of the bank holiday weekend, culminating in a mass parade on the Monday evening.

Accompanied by the colourful Hobby Horse, Fool and Grenadiers, the luckless ‘earl’ is led along facing backwards on a donkey, periodically ‘shot’, revived and the parade continues on its way amid the beating of drums.

At sunset the procession finally reaches the seaside and an effigy of the earl is cast into the sea.

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

Traffic will remain busy around the village until after 9pm this evening.

You can read more about the custom at www.earl-of-rone.org.uk .

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony GussinThe Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2018 in Combe Martin. Picture: Tony Gussin