VIDEO: Haxey Hood 2015

It was another year of Hood, sweat and beers as the traditional Haxey Hood roared into life once more to kick start the New Year.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 6th January 2015, 7:19 pm
Haxey Hood Fool DAle Smith
Haxey Hood Fool DAle Smith

Hundreds of revellers descended on the Isle of Axholme for the colourful spectacle whose roots stretch back nearly 700 years.

Regulars from four pubs battle it out to get the Hood - a cylindrical tube of leather - into their favoured watering hole in a muddy, rugby style scrum which can go on for hours long into the night.

But it was full steam ahead for The Loco in Haxey as regulars secured victory in a record time in this year’s contest.

Haxey Hood Fool DAle Smith

The pub was well on track for a quickfire victory, taking just over ninety minutes for the prize to pass over the Church Street boozer’s doorstep and securing victory for the watering hole for the first time in ten years.

Drinkers and supporters from four pubs cheered on the battle in the muddy fields between Haxey and Westwoodside for the contest which was first played in the 14th century.

After a late start to the contest - which is always held on Twelfth Night - regulars from The Carpenter’s Arms at Westwoodside made an almighty effort to get the Hood over the hill with cries of “Haxey” and “Westwood” filling the crisp January air as the contest developed into a fierce battle.

But once the Hood made it off the field and onto the road, the contest came to a quick conclusion, sweeping past the Duke William and into The Loco where overjoyed regulars crammed in to celebrate the pub’s first victory since 2005.

The King’s Arms, the final contender in the contest, was looking to make it a hat-trick of wins but once the Hood was swept towards the Loco the contest was over in a time of 95 minutes - the quickest time since 2003 and one of the quickest on record.

The partying went on late into the night as muddy revellers cheered the pub’s victory in the streets.

Earlier in the day, Lord of The Hood Phil Coggon, Chief Boggin Ian Dawes and Fool Dale Smith had toured the four pubs, singing the three songs which have become staples of the game - John Barleycorn, Cannons (Drink England Dry) and The Farmer’s Boy before heading to the Smoking The Fool ceremony in front of Haxey Parish Church where Smith was wreathed in smoke before huge crowds as he delivered his welcoming speech.
After that, it was up to the Hood Field for the games to commence, with twelve sack hoods being thrown for youngsters to chase before the main game got underway - later than schedule - at around 3.50pm.
WARNING: The video may contain some strong language.