24 January 2012
24 January - Paul's Pitcher Day
It was a custom today for the miners and tinners in parts of Cornwall to set up a water-pitcher as a target and then pelt it with stones until it was demolished. After that, they would repair to the nearest public house and buy a new pitcher, which was successively filled and emptied for the remainder of the increasingly jolly evening.
Another tradition was for gangs of boys to gather potsherds and, going from door to door, cast them into every house whose doors they could open. The only warning to the householder was the yell “Paul’s eve, and here’s a heave” before the pieces came flying in. According to custom, the first ‘heave’ could not be objected to, but with any subsequent tries, the offenders – if caught – could be punished.
[Starting with sweeping up the mess they made of the living room floor.]