Bottle kicking movie to whet appetite for battle

Thousands gather during the bottle kicking in 2012
Thousands gather during the bottle kicking in 2012

Exciting battle footage of the Hallaton Bottle Kicking contest will be screened at a fundraising movie showcase next week.

The film night is being held at Hallaton’s Stenning Hall in Horn Lane next Friday, April 4, which is just 17 days away from this year’s battle on Easter Monday.

The centuries-old custom sees Medbourne and Hallaton wrestle for control of the “bottle” – a small beer keg – in a best-of-three rugby scrum-style battle.

The film night is being hosted by Market Harborough Movie Makers and the Hallaton Bottle Kicking committee.

The film captures the atmosphere and boisterous rivalry of the unique and historic event and with the help of villagers, reveals its history.

The film describes not just the contest but also the event’s other traditions such as the parades, hare pie and penny loaves, which all contribute to making it such an intriguing occasion.

It was filmed by Colin Sullivan, Ralph Holderness, Ron Harvey and David Wilford in 2012, with narration from Harborough historian Len Holden. It also tracks the history of the event from its origins in pagan times.

As well as the bottle kicking film, there will be other Movie Makers’ documentaries screened on the Hallaton Treasure, Tales of a Land Army Girl and Market Harborough Markets. Tickets cost £4 and are available from Steve Allen on 01858 555476. It starts at 7.30pm.

Mr Allen said: “The organising committee is a non-profit organisation and needs to raise funds for the day’s proceedings so nights such as this really help.”

Details about car parking and the itinerary for the day will be published in the Mail soon. Easter Monday is April 21 this year.