Tar Barrels

Ottery St Mary, Devon, England / 5th Nov 2011

ottery st mary tar barrels on november 5th, Devon, England

November the 5th is generally, in Britain, associated with Guy Fawkes and fireworks. In a corner of Devon in the South west of England, the town of Ottery St. Mary has its own celebrations of carrying flaming tar barrels through the streets. No-one knows the exact origins of the tradition but it draws people, TV crews and more from all over the world.

Is it dangerous? Yes, real flames, heavy barrels and the fact they run through a town packed with people (organisers estimate 15-20,000 visitors) mean a hefty insurance premium. Photographing this event is a skill in itself; making sure beer doesn’t get spilled on your precious equipment, nor get crushed while attempting to photograph people racing past you with blazing barrels on their shoulders. Having said that, it is fun!

ottery st mary tar barrels on november 5th, Devon, England

ottery st mary tar barrels on november 5th, Devon, England

ottery st mary tar barrels on november 5th, Devon, England

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