Tar Barrels

So, in my town we have a traditional thing called Tar Barrels. A massive bonfire is created with wood and sticks and overall, just rubbish people have donated. There is a massive fair with blinding bright lights, screaming, and the smell of candyfloss around you. The ground is squishy, mud and grass gets all over your shoes. But it’s all worth it, in the end.

Firstly, the bonfire. As I said, it’s got tonnes of scraps from around the town. A Guy Fawkes is set on the top, tied to a chair, and then the bonfire is set alight, flames whipping around, engulfing you in smoke and ash.


Afterwards, is the fayre. It’s terrifyingly bright, flashing and music from all directions.


After all this, it’s the Tar Barrels.

Now, I’ll explain it to you, but it’s kind of, odd. It’s a hundred year old tradition, and we’re one of two towns in the UK who still do it. Basically, you carry a barrel filled with fire on your back, and run as fast as you can through the crowds. And I mean crowds. In a town of maybe, 2000 people? 15-35,ooo people usually turn up. It’s insane. I had my first experience in crowd surfing today.

Really, though, it’s just an undeniable excuse for people from the nearing cities and towns to fuck and get drunk. It smells of beer and cigarettes, burgers and petrol.

But it’s beautiful. The flames, the rush and excitement and pure joy on everyones faces. And even if they don’t show it, you can feel it.

There’s tonnes of different people there, too. Like so.

See if you can spot him. Oh, and his jacket says “Punk as Fuck”, just so you know.



About helenloraine

film maker, photographer and travel enthusiast

Posted on November 5, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Lmao, that’s so.. flamings… o.o xD.

  2. Great post! Like always! Loved it so much I stole a picture. Teehee! 🙂

  3. Great sum of tar barrels.

  4. Looks like barrels of fun! 😉
    That. Was. Cheesy.

  1. Pingback: A Warning Regarding Bonfires « The Mind Of Tanitha

  2. Pingback: You Are Here At Your Own Risk « The Mind Of Tanitha

Reply here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: