Sidmouth’s tasty tradition returns

PUBLISHED: 17:38 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:44 12 April 2017

Sidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-6. PICTURE: Archant archives

Sidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-6. PICTURE: Archant archives

Archant archives

It has been a winning recipe for more than a century, and for organisers of Sidmouth’s annual hot cross bun giveaway, it is one they want to keep going for years to come.

Sidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-1. PICTURE: Archant archivesSidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-1. PICTURE: Archant archives

The tasty tradition was born out of a bakers’ strike in the town, leaving residents without the popular Easter treats.

Not wanting the children to go without, a group of residents decided on an idea to give away buns, starting the tradition to hand out the baked goods to children aged 12 and under on Good Friday.

Tony Perram, the organising committee secretary, said: “Some of the local people decided they would go to Exeter, get some buns so the children wouldn’t be disappointed. A hot cross bun was something to look forward to.”

Fast-forward 100 years, the appetite still remains as up to 1,000 youngsters are estimated to line up each Good Friday to collect a bag of sweet treats.

Sidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-4. PICTURE: Archant archivesSidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-4. PICTURE: Archant archives

It is something the secretary said he wants to keep going after joining the organising committee more than 30 years ago, alongside its president Michael Woods.

Tony said: “The local people then wanted to do it and we wanted to keep 
the tradition going. A lot of these old traditions are disappearing; there’s a different way of life nowadays.”

In today’s goody bags, each child receives hot cross buns from Vinnicombe’s Bakery, oranges from Winchester’s Greengrocers and a cream egg.

The committee says it is the generosity of businesses and organisations, such as the Lions Club of Sidmouth, that have kept the giveaway going throughout the decades.

Sidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-5. PICTURE: Archant archivesSidmouth Hot Cross Bun giveaway. Ref shs Hot Cross Buns Nost 824 1972-5. PICTURE: Archant archives

Organisers also thanked Tom Griffiths and Wendy Markcombe for their ongoing support to host the giveaway in the Bedford Lawn car park.

Tony said: “The committee puts out tins in local businesses throughout the year to collect money. Also when they queue up to get their buns, people go round with tins and buckets to collect some coins if people wish to donate. All these products have to be paid for.”

Youngsters will be able to partake in the tradition from 9am on Friday, April 14, after the giveway is opened by Councillor Jeff Turner, chairman of the town council. Visitors will also be able to enjoy music from Sidmouth Town Band.

The giveaway will be held at All Saints Church Hall if there is poor weather.


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