A beginners’ guide to dwile flonking

A 'how-to' guide: 1. Two teams dress as yokels, a referee - or jobanowl - is chosen and decides who

A 'how-to' guide: 1. Two teams dress as yokels, a referee - or jobanowl - is chosen and decides who flonks first, by tossing a sugar beet - Credit: Archant © 2007

Cricket has Lords, football has Wembley - and for dwile flonking, it is the Waveney Valley.

2. The 'dwile' - usually a beer mat on the end of a pole - is soaked in a pot of beer. The jobanowl

2. The 'dwile' - usually a beer mat on the end of a pole - is soaked in a pot of beer. The jobanowl shouts 'Here y'go t'gither!' to start the game - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010

The ancient East Anglian art returns to its spiritual home on Sunday as teams from Beccles and Bungay battle it out at the Locks Inn, Geldeston.

3. One team forms a circle around the 'flonker' - a member of the opposing side, who stands in the m

3. One team forms a circle around the 'flonker' - a member of the opposing side, who stands in the middle with the dwile and beer pot. The team dance around the flonker, a practice known as 'girting' - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

The popular rural pub on the banks of the River Waveney has seen many previous encounters of the local ritual and both teams will be keen to come out as winners.

4. The flonker dips the dwile in the pot and, circling in the opposite direction to the surrounding

4. The flonker dips the dwile in the pot and, circling in the opposite direction to the surrounding team, flings it, in an attempt to hit one. Points are scored for striking the head, body and leg - Credit: Archant © 2005

The fun starts from midday and organiser Yanny Mac is hoping for plenty of spectators.

5. Every member of the team takes a turn at flunking. Once they have done so, the sides swap over. T

5. Every member of the team takes a turn at flunking. Once they have done so, the sides swap over. The team with the most points at the end wins - Credit: Archant © 2005

'This is a real fun event and dwile flonking is particularly popular in the Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth area.

'Both teams are playing for the honour of their towns so there is a lot at stake,' he said.

It is believed that the dwile flonking revival began in the 1960s when rival printing apprentices at Clowes of Beccles and Clays of Bungay decided to battle it out in what was thought to be an ancient harvest ritual.

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More cynically-minded folk have suggested the game actually originated in the 1960s, and does not have the more extensive heritage some claim for it.

'We are holding this contest to celebrate those printing apprentices of the 1960s,' Mr Mac added.

'We believe they were fed up of East Anglian people being portrayed as country yokels that they decided to go completely overboard and hold this game dressed in full yokel regalia.

'Both teams on Sunday will also be wearing yokel smocks and it promises to be a colourful spectacle,' said Mr Mac.

Scoring: Points are awarded as follows...

3 A WANTON - a direct hit on a girter's head

2 A MORTHER or MARTHER - a body hit

1 A RIPPLE or RIPPER - a leg hit

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