Video & Gallery: Flitch Trials 2008 - Special Report
PUBLISHED: 16:09 15 July 2008 | UPDATED: 07:03 30 May 2010
WORLD famous Agony Aunt Claire Rayner brought home the bacon on Saturday as she and her husband Des, joined four other couples at the 2008 Dunmow Flitch Trials. Mrs Rayner, a long time supporter of the ancient tradition, celebrated once every four years
WORLD famous 'Agony Aunt' Claire Rayner brought home the bacon on Saturday as she and her husband Des, joined four other couples at the 2008 Dunmow Flitch Trials.
Mrs Rayner, a long time supporter of the ancient tradition, celebrated once every four years, proved that she had been in love with her husband for at least a year and a day and therefore took home a whole side of bacon on Saturday.
Stealing the show in the afternoon sessions though, were the first ever American couple to take part. Jeff Dotts and Erin Albers, from Nashville, Tennessee, even brought a little bit of music with them, as Mr Dots broke into song at the start of their trial. "I wanted to sing a song about love, Dunmow and bacon," he said, and it worked as the jury, made up of six bachelors and six maidens from the parish, unanimously awarded them the coveted flitch.
Four out of the five couples took home the meaty prize on the day and were carried shoulder high from a huge white marquee on Talberds Ley to the bunting strewn Market Place to swear the sacred flitch oath whilst kneeling on pointed stones.
Ironically, the only couple to fail in the quest for the flitch were the only couple actually from the town. Malcolm and Carrie Thorne didn't do enough to convince the jury that they hadn't wished themselves unwed and took home the consolation prize of a gammon of bacon.
The other two winning couples were, Michael and Janet Denny, both 62, from Rayleigh, Essex, who were first to take part in front of a multitude of gathered media, and Graeme Fearon and Amanda Horner, from Ramsbury, Wiltshire.
Speaking on behalf of the tireless flitch committee, who had been building up the event for two years, Grahame Wade said: "It is great that such a unique tradition is kept alive every four years. The trials are talked about around the globe and it is a bit of history for everyone associated with Great Dunmow to be proud of."