Ottery gets ready for mischief and mayhem ahead of annual Pixie Day

PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 June 2018

Richard Coley with the Pixie Day scrapbook from 1954. Ref sho 24 18TI 5152. Picture: Terry Ife

Richard Coley with the Pixie Day scrapbook from 1954. Ref sho 24 18TI 5152. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Ottery residents better beware as mischievous pixies prepare to descend on the town next weekend.

Pixie Day scrapbook from 1954. Ref sho 24 18TI 5162. Picture: Terry IfePixie Day scrapbook from 1954. Ref sho 24 18TI 5162. Picture: Terry Ife

The town’s famous Pixie Day returns on Saturday, June 23, with youngsters once again preparing to dress up as the folklore creatures to re-enact the town legend.

The day will begin at 2.30pm with a fete in the Land of Canaan. There will be the usual range of stalls, live music from Marjorie Leek and Oakhart and demonstrations.

At 2.45pm the pet show will get under way and will be judged by veterinary nurses from Ikin and Oxenham.

Entries should be registered at 2.30pm.

Ottery's Pixie Day in the 1950s. Picture from Peter Harris.Ottery's Pixie Day in the 1950s. Picture from Peter Harris.

The carnival committee will also be providing a barbecue and refreshments, including a bar.

Organisers also have a special treat for visitors with a scrapbook of Pixie Days of old, including snaps of the first ever event held in 1954.

The scrapbook was compiled by local historian Peter Harris and donated to the committee.

Richard Coley, who is now organising the event for the 41st year, says they will have large versions of the photos on display for people to be able to identify pixies and onlookers.

Pixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archivesPixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archives

He said: “I do think people would like to see how it all started, it’s a big affair.

“If anyone has any pictures of later Pixie Days, please bring them along so we can have a look at them.”

Among the clippings in the scrapbook was a report of the event in 1971, with founder Fred Godfrey raising his concerns that a lack of helpers would kill the event.

His words came true as nothing happened from 1971 until 1978 when the tradition was restarted.

Pixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archivesPixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archives

Mr Coley said the same still applies now, with new blood needed to keep the event going.

He added: “The organisers are getting older, and new blood is needed, not only on the committee, but also to help on the day itself.

“If you feel like keeping this wonderful event going, please have a word with us in the organisers’ tent.”

Pixies will set off for Ottery church at 6.35pm to recreate the story and capture the bell ringers.

Pixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archivesPixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archives

The ringers will then be paraded through the streets before breaking free and thwarting the pixies’ plot.

Programmes are on sale for 50 pence at Pearsons or Hind Street Garage.

Pixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archivesPixie Day 1970. Picture: Archant archives

Ottery Pixie Day, June 1971. Pixies run through the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 2. Picture: Archant archivesOttery Pixie Day, June 1971. Pixies run through the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 2. Picture: Archant archives

Ottery Pixie Day, June 1971. The Pesky Pixies gather in the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 3. Picture: Archant archivesOttery Pixie Day, June 1971. The Pesky Pixies gather in the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 3. Picture: Archant archives

Ottery Pixie Day, June 1971. A bell ringer is captured by the troublesome pixies and paraded thorugh the town centre. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 4. Picture: Archant archivesOttery Pixie Day, June 1971. A bell ringer is captured by the troublesome pixies and paraded thorugh the town centre. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 4. Picture: Archant archives

Ottery Pixie Day, June 1971. Pixies gather in the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 1. Picture: Archant archivesOttery Pixie Day, June 1971. Pixies gather in the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 1. Picture: Archant archives

Ottery Pixie Day, June 1971. The Pixies protest through the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 5. Picture: Archant archivesOttery Pixie Day, June 1971. The Pixies protest through the square. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 5. Picture: Archant archives

Ottery Pixie Day, June 1971. A bell ringer is captured and lead from the church. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 6. Picture: Archant archivesOttery Pixie Day, June 1971. A bell ringer is captured and lead from the church. Ref sho Pixie Day 1971 6. Picture: Archant archives

Pixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4949. Picture: Terry IfePixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4949. Picture: Terry Ife

Pixie Day in Ottery. Ref sho 26-16TI 2997. Picture: Terry IfePixie Day in Ottery. Ref sho 26-16TI 2997. Picture: Terry Ife

Pixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4966. Picture: Terry IfePixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4966. Picture: Terry Ife

Pixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4950. Picture: Terry IfePixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4950. Picture: Terry Ife

Pixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4976. Picture: Terry IfePixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4976. Picture: Terry Ife

Pixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4941. Picture: Terry IfePixie Day. Ref sho 25 17TI 4941. Picture: Terry Ife

Richard Coley celebrates his forty years as Pixie Day organiser. Ref sho 25 17TI 4986. Picture: Terry IfeRichard Coley celebrates his forty years as Pixie Day organiser. Ref sho 25 17TI 4986. Picture: Terry Ife


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