Bungay claim victory as 50th dwile flonking anniversary is celebrated

Graham Elliott gets a beer soaked mat thrown full on in the face. Picture: James Bass

Graham Elliott gets a beer soaked mat thrown full on in the face. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

It may be remembered by most as the year that England won the World Cup.

The unofficial 50th anniversary of the revivial of Waveney Valley Dwile Flonking held at the Locks I

The unofficial 50th anniversary of the revivial of Waveney Valley Dwile Flonking held at the Locks Inn, Geldeston. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

But in this corner of the country at least, 1966 has an additional sporting significance.

For it was then that the peculiarly East Anglian pursuit of dwile flonking was revived. Or invented - depending on who you ask.

And the 50th anniversary of that momentous year was marked yesterday, at the annual staging of the Waveney Valley contest, at Geldeston's Locks Inn.

The contest has traditionally pitted Bungay against Beccles, but this year featured an interloper from the Yare valley - Loddon.


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For the third time in five years, however Bungay prevailed - beating Beccles 15-11 in the final. The victors were awarded a trophy in honour of Stuart Sneddon – one of the original dwile flonkers, who died recently.

About 250 people turned out to support the teams, with musical accompaniment from band Owl and Wolves.

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The event was billed as the 'completely unofficial anniversary' - reflecting the mystery surrounding the sport's origins.

Some say it dates back to the middle ages, with others suggesting its roots go back no further than the 1960s. Yanny Mac organised the event, and also took on the role of jobanowl – the official term for the referee.

'This year was the 50th anniversary of the original revivalists and it gave us the chance to celebrate this quirky past-time,' he said.

David Brambley-Crawshaw, Beccles captain, said: 'It's a little bit of ridiculous silliness and I hope it is something that lives on in the hearts of our children and young folk.'

Colin Smith, landlord at the pub, said: 'I often think that I am the Belgium of the Waveney Valley – where the great super powers come to do battle.'

The beer was supplied by the Grain Brewery in Harleston with the event also raising £100 for the Big Dog Ferry.

Are you taking part in an unusual event? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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