Combe Martin prepares for its traditional May spring bank holiday pageant from Friday, May 24 to Monday 27.
COMBE Martin’s curious and unique tradition The Hunting of the Earl of Rone returns this bank holiday weekend with four days of colourful parades and spectacle.
The traditional festivities start on Friday and culminate on Monday, with processions of colourful characters, musicians, drummers, flower bearing ladies and children, ‘grenadiers’ and glimpses of the elusive ‘Earl’, who of course eventually gets his comeuppance.
On Friday the multi-hued Hobby Horse, broomstick-bearing Fool, solders and drummers leave the beach at 7.30pm and make their way up the village street for a preliminary search for the earl.
On Saturday village primary schoolchildren get to stage their own parade, leaving the school near the seafront at 11am and heading up the village.
On Sunday, the party spreads its ‘search’ to the back streets and byways, leaving Sandaway Holiday Park at 1pm.
Finally on Monday evening shortly after 6pm the whole cast, including the now captured Earl, leave the very top of the village and make the way to the sea.
The hapless Earl is ‘shot’ several times enroute by ‘firing squad’, before being cast into the sea at sunset.
Partial road closures and traffic delays can be expected in the village while processions are under way. For more details visit www.earl-of-rone.org.uk.