Driffield News

Driffield’s unique tradition proves as popular as ever

Delighted Driffield youngsters kept an age old custom alive when they took part in the annual tradition of scrambling.

Dozens of excited children went scrambling through the town on Saturday morning as shopkeepers threw festive treats for the crowd to catch. Led by Town Crier Brian Fairfield, the boys and girls filled their bags with money, sweets, crisps and other gifts in the fun event.

Scrambling is a centuries-old custom, which is believed to be unique to Driffield, that involves goodnatured begging for festive goodies outside shops and other business premises.

As the horde of scramblers made their way up Driffield’s main street they chanted the ancient verse:-

“Here we are at oor toon end,
A shoolder o’ mutton and a croon ti spend.
Are we downhearted? – No!
Will we win? – YES!”

Abby Morris brought along her children, eight-year-old Jacob and Keira, five, to take part in the fun. She said: “We have been coming for a number of years and it is a great tradition for Driffield.” Jacob and Keira’s granddad David Morris used to come scrambling 50 years ago when he was a child. He said: “It is nice to see traditions such as this being kept alive.”


“It is still very much the same as it was when I was a child, I remember the shopkeepers used to heat up the pennies before throwing them out for the children.” Traditionally a New Year’s Day custom, it moved to the first shopping day of the year when January 1 became a public holiday and Driffield shops remained closed. Steve and Micci Riley from Ashley Adams opened especially to take part in the tradition. Steve said: “We have never missed taking part in the scrambling event in 42 years. It is a great tradition which the kids love.” Their four-year-old daughter Honesty was taking part for the first time. She said: “I like getting the sweets. It is good fun.” David and Nicola Marley from Horsley and Dawson added: “It is important the tradition carries on as it is exclusive to Driffield and we love taking part.”

Driffield resident Kathleen Hubbard, who is now 87, has been taking part since she was a child. She brought a bag full of sweets, crisps and money to give to the children. She said: “I come every year because I don’t want the tradition to die out.

“My great uncle used to come scrambling before the Great War. It is a very old tradition in the town and it is important it keeps going.”

The children were accompanied along the route by Mayor Matt Rogers, town councillors, Driffield’s Tidy Team and police officers who controlled the traffic to keep the children safe on their route.

Town Crier Brain Fairfield thanked all the shops and businesses for taking part, as well as the children, their parents, town councillors and the local police for their support. He said: “The shopkeepers and businesses are so generous and keep this tradition going and I thank them.

“This is a unique tradition to Driffield and I thank the children for keeping it alive.”

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