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Beating The Bounds in North Mymms Parish

Beating The Bounds in August 1950 - Pauline Speary, June Chuck, Dorothy Speary. Image by D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen

Beating The Bounds in August 1950
L-R: Pauline Speary, June Chuck, Dorothy Speary
Image by D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen


Marking the parish boundary

The ancient tradition of "Beating The Bounds", has been taking place in North Mymms for centuries. It involves a 17.5 mile walk along the parish boundary to visit, and ceremonially mark, various landmarks.

The following images show the Beating The Bounds in the '30s, '50s and '90s and are from a collection of local images recording the history of North Mymms, which have been collected, enhanced and digitised by local resident, photographer and historian Mike Allen, who has shared them with this site.

At the bottom of the page you will see two examples of 'bumping' during Beating The Bounds, where a member of the party was symbolically 'bumped' against the boundary. This is a gentler, more modern version of the tradition of boys being violently bumped against a boundary marker in an effort to make them remember the boundary of the parish. Nowadays, accurate maps delineate parish boundaries, obviating the perceived need for violence.

Was the '90s the last time it took place in North Mymms? And will it ever happen again?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories below, and in a thread running in this site's community discussion forum.

North Mymms Parish Council beating the bounds near Hawkshead Bridge in 1930. Bert Shadbolt, Mr Tilbury, James Crawford, Bert Groom, Tom Nott, George Rix. Image by G Knott courtesy of the former North Mymms Local History Society, digitally enhanced  by Mike Allen.

North Mymms Parish Council beating the bounds near Hawkshead Bridge in 1930
Bert Shadbolt, Mr Tilbury, James Crawford, Bert Groom, Tom Nott, George Rix
Image by G Knott courtesy of the former North Mymms Local History Society, digitally enhanced by Mike Allen.


Beating The Bounds at Marshmoor in 1953, Image by D Colville digitally enhanced  by Mike Allen

Beating The Bounds at Marshmoor in 1953
Image by D Colville digitally enhanced by Mike Allen


Beating The Bounds in 1953 Mrs Colville centre back. Image by D Colville digitally enhanced  by Mike Allen

Beating The Bounds in 1953 Mrs Colville centre back
Image by D Colville digitally enhanced by Mike Allen


Beating The Bounds in the '90s with Bill Storey outside the Cock O' The North  image by Ron Kingdon digitally enhanced  by Mike Allen

Beating The Bounds in the '90s (??) with Bill Storey outside the Cock O' The North
Image by Ron Kingdon digitally enhanced by Mike Allen


Beating The Bounds in the '90s outside the Cock O' The North  image by Ron Kingdon digitally enhanced  by Mike Allen

Beating The Bounds in the '90s (??) outside the Cock O' The North
Image by Ron Kingdon digitally enhanced by Mike Allen


Beating The Bounds in August 1950 - Richard Papworth, Kenneth Geeky with pole, Dorothy Speary, Ruth Pinder, Delia Denchfield, Pauline Franklin, June Chuck,Reg Pettifer, Jack Shadbolt. Image by D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen

Beating The Bounds in August 1950
Richard Papworth, Kenneth Geeky with pole, Dorothy Speary, Ruth Pinder, Delia Denchfield, Pauline Franklin, June Chuck, Reg Pettifer, Jack Shadbolt
Image by D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen


Beating The Bounds at Colney Heath in August 1950 - Image by D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen

Beating The Bounds at Colney Heath in August 1950
Image by D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen


Beating The Bounds report, image courtesy of local historian Peter Miller

Beating The Bounds report
Image courtesy of local historian Peter Miller


Beating The Bounds report from the parish magazine 2013
PDF courtesy of local historian Mike Allen


Beating The Bounds report by Bill Papworth, published in the July 1953 St Mary's Parish Magazine.
PDF courtesy of local historian Mike Allen


>Bumping during Beating The Bounds 1953

Bumping during Beating The Bounds 1953
Image by D Colville, digitally enhanced by local historian Mike Allen


>Bumping during Beating The Bounds 1953

George Underdown being bumped at the junction of Dixons Hill Road and the Great North Road during Beating The Bounds 1953
Image courtesy of the former North Mymms Local History Society, digitally enhanced by local historian Mike Allen


>

A news release about Beating The Bounds 1953
Cutting courtesy of local historian Peter Miller


Attribution

All the pictures above digitally enhanced by Mike Allen and released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.


Would you like a copy of these images?

Images of North Mymms

You can own a high-resolution copy of all these images, which are available on three CDs.

Local resident, historian and photographer, Mike Allen, has collected more than 3,000 old images of North Mymms. He has carefully restored many and digitised them so that the area's pictorial past is preserved. Those images are available on a collection of three CDs, each containing 1,000 images. They can be bought from Mike for £10 each.


Add your memories

If you have any memories, comments, or anything else to add to this feature, please use either the Disqus comment form below or you can post in the discussion thread running in this site's forum.


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October 2016

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