Each year, on the third Thursday in May, a Mayor is appointed in a traditional ceremony at the Guildhall (the town’s 17th century Grade I listed building, which is currently home to Harwich Town Council).

The formal Mayor-making ceremony is followed by the ancient and happy tradition of ‘kitchel-throwing’ to properly commemorate the occasion. This convention is based on a centuries-old ritual that is unique to Harwich, and involves the Mayor and Mayoress and their assisting dignities throwing Kitchels (small spiced buns, baked locally) to local children from the Guildhall balcony. The children gesture from below in encouragement, and hold out their hands in excitement to catch the buns.

Watch the ceremony here.