Harwich Mayor-making ceremony
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2005 If you have a query about any event on this page, or if you are organising an event which you would like us to include here, your first point of contact in
Mail the Town Centre Manager
all cases should be the Town Centre Manager Lesley Chambers on (01255) 556280 or e-mail tcm@harwichtcm.fsnet.co.uk using the button on the right.
May Mayor Making Ceremony
St. Nicholas Church and the Guildhall
Mayflower Walk
Along the Essex Way between Manningtree and Harwich
Redoubt Fete
Harwich Redoubt Fort
July Harwich Trafalgar Festival of the Arts
Various venues throughout Harwich
1st - 10th
Sea Festival
The Quay and Harwich Green
September Essex Air Ambulance Motor Cycle Rally
The Quay, the Green and the streets of Old Harwich
October Trafalgar 200 Events
The Electric Palace Cinema, Harwich
November Guy Carnival
The streets of Harwich and Dovercourt
December Harwich & Dovercourt Bay Winter Ale Festival
Kingsway Hall, Dovercourt
1st - 3rd
Santa Train
The Mayflower Line from Harwich to Manningtree


Until 1949 Mayor's Day in Harwich was 21st December and it became the custom for the newly elected Mayor to shower his blessings on the children by throwing kitchels to them from a window at the Guildhall. When this began is not known but it has long been the custom in some parts, and particularly Suffolk, for children to visit their god-parents at Christmas time and ask for their blessings. This was given, together with a small cake called a God's kitchel which was specially made for visting god-children. There was an old saying - 'Ask me a blessing and I will give you a kitchel' - and in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, written in 1386, we find these lines: 'Give us a bushel, wheat, malt or rye, A God's kitchel, or a trip of cheese.' In 1905 a guide book described it as a 'curious custom, hundreds of years old', and thought the cakes were called 'catch-alls'. The ceremony is now held on the third Thursday in May and starts at approximately 12 noon at St. Nicholas' Church.

Throwing the kitchels
A kitchel being thrown at the Harwich Mayor-Making ceremony

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