Fenny Poppers

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A calendar custom which celebrates the building of St Martin's, the parish church (1730), and takes place at Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, every 11 November. The money for the church was raised and donated by the then Lord of the Manor, Dr Browne Willis, and he also left money for an annual feast and the firing of the Fenny Popper. These Poppers are six cast-iron cannonlike objects which are filled with gunpowder and set off with a long red-hot iron rod, with deafening effect. The event takes place in the recreation ground (having been moved from the churchyard), and the Poppers are fired three times (noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.), by the vicar, the verger, and the churchwardens.

Compare OTTERY ST MARY.Hole, 1975: 139; Shuel, 1985: 187–8; Kightly, 1986: 114–15.

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