Hare Pie 2020

Letter in The Daily Telegraph on Easter Monday:

Here’s to the hare pie and the bottle kicking


SIR – I was interested to read in Helena Horton’s report (April 10) that Iron Age Britons idolised hares. Every Easter Monday, we host one of Britain’s oldest continuing sporting events: the Hallaton Bottle-Kicking and Hare-Pie Scramble.

A hare pie is baked (my wife Lynne makes it), and is then paraded through Hallaton followed by thousands of people. When it arrives at the church, the village rector cuts it up, and pieces are placed in sacks.

Local villagers then wrestle for them, and for the “bottles” – small kegs of beer. Sadly, due to the coronavirus, the event is cancelled this year for only the second time in its history, which evidence suggests stretches back for over two millennia (it was staged amid the Black Death, and during both World Wars).

It will be greatly missed by the whole area. Let’s hope it can take place in 2021.

Phil Allan
Chairman, Hallaton Bottle-Kicking and Hare-Pie Scramble
Hallaton, Leicestershire

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