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Historic Beating of the Sea Bounds ceremony takes place
THE sun shone as Poole and Wareham residents joined to witness the historic Beating of the Sea Bounds ceremony on Saturday.
The colourful ceremony, marking the harbour boundaries, dates back to the 14th century and was officiated by the Mayor of Poole and Admiral of the Port Cllr Carol Evans and her Wareham counterpart Keith Green.
Cllr Evans opened Admiralty Court at Custom House, Poole Quay, appointing a jury to tour water boundaries in Poole Harbour .
Cllr Green then set sail, in the Maid of the Lakelands, to meet the Poole Mayor’s Admiralty barge, at the boundary of the port jurisdiction.
After meeting in the harbour the two civic boats then headed to Brownsea Island for lunch before another boundary point was confirmed in a second ceremony.
Two local children were symbolically “punished” by flogging and being pricked with a bodkin to remind them of the boundaries in a custom known as the pins and points ceremony.
In modern times this is only a representation and the children actually received gifts and keepsakes as mementoes of their involvement.
Proceedings came to a close with pirates being dragged away to walk the plank at Poole Quay.
All profits from the day will be shared between the Mayor’s and Society of Poole Men’s charities.
All this took place in front of a special guest, the Jurist of Winchelsea (alderman), the first representative since 1364, who presented Poole’s Mayor with a scroll commemorating the historic Winchelsea Charter.
“It really was a magical day and I want to say thank you to everyone who made it so,” said the Mayor.
“To be able to take part in such a historic event as Admiral of the Port was just wonderful.”
She added: “The children who took part enjoyed the pins and points ceremony and were given a commemorative lanyard by the Society of Poole Men, made by John Clark, father of the lifeboat coxswain.”
During the day, the Mayor just managed to avoid being hit by a water-filled balloon, which sailed by and deluged one of her escorts instead.