Dorset

Dorset knob-throwing festival cancelled for 2020

Knob-throwing competition
Image caption Knob-throwing has been a Dorset pastime since 2008

Dorset's knob-throwing festival will not take place next year while organisers search for a new venue.

The competition to hurl the county's traditional biscuits as far as possible has been running since 2008.

In 2017, it moved from its original home in Cattistock village to Kingston Maurward College, near Dorchester, after its popularity grew.

Organisers said the college had now ended the arrangement, but insisted the festival would return in 2021.

The one-day festival, which was attended by 8,000 people this year, incorporates a food festival, live music and knob-based games such as knob-and-spoon racing, splat the knob, knob darts and pin the knob on the Cerne Abbas giant.

Contestants also battle to eat a plate of the bun-shaped biscuits in record time.

The event was not held in 2018 following the retirement of several committee members and concerns by Moores Biscuits that it had "run its course".

'Charging on'

The Dorset Echo reported that Kingston Maurward College had cancelled its memorandum of understanding with the Dorset Knob Throwing Committee.

Committee chairman Ian Gregory told the BBC: "Its future is not in doubt because it will continue in 2021.

"I think it's most unlikely back at Kingston Maurward because they think it's run its course there. Back in Cattistock is one of the options.

"There are other options and we're going to go charging on."

Mr Gregory said the committee had been in talks with a number of other Dorset venues, including Mapperton House.

It will also consider whether to hold the event biennially instead of annually.

College principal Luke Rake said: "Sadly, the costs of running the event here outweigh the lost incomes from other estate use and we have unfortunately had to take a commercial decision based upon ensuring the best and most effective use of limited resources."

Dorset knob facts

  • The biscuits have been made by Moores of Morecombelake for more than 150 years
  • Originally, they were made from leftover bread dough with added butter and sugar, hand-rolled and left to dry in the dying heat of the oven
  • It is thought their name comes from the hand-sewn Dorset knob buttons that were also made locally
  • They can be eaten with Blue Vinny cheese, dipped in tea or cider, or taken with honey and cream - known locally as thunder and lightning

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