The Hurling of the Silver Ball is an event held in St Columb Major, Newquay, that goes back over 1000 years.
The Hurling is a game which was described by the Town Clerk as “Rugby with no rules”. It involves town locals fighting for the possession of a silver ball, with the end goal to getting it into one of two goals. Each goal is located at the edges of the parish, 1 mile each way from the town centre.
Unusually, nowhere is off limits: private land, shops, pubs, the street. Anywhere is fair ground.
Walking through the town, shop windows were boarded up to avoid damage from the applewood silver coated ball that is launched through the high street. Running up to the event, residents move their cars through the quickly forming crowds to quieter streets, where the risk of smashed windscreens and dented bonnets was much less likely.
Doug works in a local bakery in St Columb and has taken part in the event for the last few years. Truthfal spoke to Doug as he was packing up the bakery in preparation to play this year. This tradition is important to him:
“It’s been going on for many years and hopefully it will keep going.”
Listen to Pablo’s audio report here: