Tug of War

Ickford v Tiddington Tug “O” War over the river

It started in 1953, the Coronation Year,  as a challenge between two farmers: John Bull and Alec Neil.

Since then, on the first Friday of August, two teams from Ickford and TIddington pull on opposite banks of the River Thame.  The evening often ends with one team being hauled into the water. This used to be followed by a dance in the Village Hall.

These days it is not just the men who compete, but also the women and youths of each village  form their own teams.

See some old images of the event on the 60th anniversary article by the BBC.

Original rules 
1. Before the contest each year 3 men from Ickford and 3 men from Tiddington get together and form a Tug-Of-War Committee.
2. There will be 8 men in each team.
3. The men shall either reside or to have been born in their respective villages.
4. An umpire -or official starter- will be in the middle of the river to start the contest
5. Each team will be 5 yards from the river at the start of the pull.
6. A white handkerchief will be tied to the rope in the middle of the river.
7. The Cup cannot be won outright.
8. No spikes must be worn in boots.
9. Contestants must be fully clothed.
10. The losers must buy the winners 1 dozen pint bottles of beer and pay for the inscription on the Cup.
11. Ten per cent of the total proceeds must be put by each year for the rope fund.
12. It is the responsibility of each village alternately to provide someone to present the Cup and run the T.O.W dance.