Volunteers needed to carry winners in Dunmow’s Flitch Trials

Jody Huizar

Jody Huizar - Credit: Archant

Five volunteers are needed to help with the Flitch Trials next month.

Getting ready for the Dunmow Flitch Trials on Saturday, July 9, is chief bearer Jody Huizar, who for the seventh time is organising the team of men who bear the flitch.

He is looking for more volunteers to help carry the winning couples in a parade at the end of the trials.

The trials, which date back to the middle ages, take place every leap year.

It is comedy entertainment where couples are “put on the stand” and questioned by barristers to prove they have not for a single day over the past year regretted being married.

If they can convince the jury (of young men and women from the village) of the truth of that, they win a flitch (or a side) of bacon. The bearers are the men who carry both the flitch and the successful flitch winners who are carried aloft through the village on the ancient flitch chair. When the full procession is in process, Jody needs 20 men to carry the flitch and the two successful couples. The unsuccessful couples walk behind an empty chair.

So far, Jody has 15 volunteers. The bearers were originally described as “simple men”.

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Jody and his wife, Jinny, came to Dunmow in the 1980s to teach at Helena Romanes School when he was asked to find some strong men to help on trials day.

If anyone would like to join in this year’s trials, contact www.dunmowflitchtrials.co.uk.