United Kingdom

Knob-throwing festival cancelled due to coronavirus

The Dorset Knob Throwing Committee didn’t want to put people’s lives at risk by letting the event continue (Picture: REX)

The annual tradition of tossing knobs in a field has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival includes a competition to fling the county’s traditional biscuits as far as possible.

But the chairperson of the Knob Throwing Committee said Covid-19 restrictions have prevented it from going ahead.

Ian Gregory said the decision ‘was reluctantly made due to current Covid-19 restrictions and their anticipated continuation’.

‘The committee took the view that to continue in these circumstances could put people’s lives at risk and felt that they had a duty of care towards all visitors, volunteers and stallholders,’ he said.

He said the ‘essence and joy’ of throwing knobs was that it was ‘great fun’ and ‘without the freedom to mix openly the spontaneity and appeal of this event will be lost’.

He called the annual festival a ‘zany, quintessentially British event which has caught the public’s imagination’.

It will be the second year in a row the event has been cancelled, after organisers struggled to find a venue for 2020. But it is set to return to Cattistock in May 2022.

The event attracts thousands of attendees every year (Picture: REX)
A tongue-in-cheek food festival also accompanies the main tossing competition (Picture: REX)
The ‘essence and joy’ of throwing knobs was that it is ‘great fun’ (Picture: REX)
It will be the second year in a row the event has been cancelled, but a comeback is set for 2022 (Picture: REX)
The Dorset knob is traditionally a hard biscuit made from leftover bread dough with added butter and sugar (Picture: REX)

The popular one-day festival, which saw 8,000 attendees in 2019, includes a food festival, live music and activities such as guess the weight of the big knob, knob darts and a knob and spoon race.

There is also a competition to eat as many knobs as possible in a short space of time.

The main feature, the knob throwing, has strict rules and sees three biscuits thrown underarm and the furthest is measured at its final resting place.

Unlimited entries are available per contestant and there are no age restrictions.

The Dorset knob is traditionally a hard biscuit made from leftover bread dough with added butter and sugar. They are hand-rolled and left to dry in the dying heat of the oven.

They have been made by Moores of Morecombelake for more than 150 years, and it is thought their name comes from knob buttons, which were also made locally.

Knobs tend to be eaten with Blue Vinny cheese, dipped in tea or cider, or with honey and cream – which is known as ‘thunder and lightning’.

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