November 23, 2020 1.19 pm This story is over 36 months old

Ancient Haxey Hood game cancelled for the first time in a century

Last time cancelled in WWI

The ancient game of Haxey Hood held in the North Lincolnshire village of Haxey has been cancelled for the first time in over 100 years due to coronavirus.

The ancient game dates back to the 14th century and takes place every year on January 6, except when the sixth falls on a Sunday.

However, organisers said following the latest government advice and Phil’s (Phil Coggon – Lord of the Hood) discussions and consultation with local authorities, the Haxey Hood on January 6, 2021 has been cancelled.

The annual event is described as a game similar to rugby with unlimited participants and few rules, with the next Haxey Hood now due to take place on January 6, 2022.

A leather tube – called the hood – is slowly walked by a large unorganised rugby scrum to one of four pubs.

The last time it was not held was during World War I, with none taking place from 1915. It restarted in 1920 and it did continue through World War II.

In October 2018, it was confirmed that a historic pub that plays an “integral” part in the game – The Duke William Hotel – was saved from plans to turn it into housing.

North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee threw out the plans after unanimously voting that the proposal would have an impact on the village.

It is one of four places that take part in the ancient game and organisers said last year’s event was going ahead, despite some reported pub closures.

The tradition first started in the 14th century when Lady de Mowbray was out riding between Westwoodside and Haxey, when her silk riding hood was blown away by the wind.

She is said to have been so amused to see local farm workers chasing it she rewarded them land on condition the chase would be re-enacted every year.