Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bun Ceremony Under Threat

The latest Folklore Society newsletter contains some bad news regarding one of London's most unusual and interesting annual commemorations, which takes place every Good Friday at the Widow's Son pub in Bromley-by-Bow.  On this occasion a sailor from the Royal Navy places a bun in a net above the bar containing the buns from previous ceremonies; it commemorates the hot cross buns a widow is said to have baked every year in a cottage on that spot in the hope that her son would return home from sea, sadly he never did.  The legend can be found in my Folklore of London book amongst other places and there is an earlier post devoted to it.

It now appears that the pub has been bought by a property developer who wants to turn most of the building into the inevitable apartments ('luxury' no doubt).  The local newspaper covered it here.  It would be a very sad thing to see yet another pub-related piece of folklore vanish - when I was writing my folklore book I was dismayed to discover how many pubs had totally disappeared, been converted to flats or had stopped ceremonies and commemorations that in some cases went back many years.

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