Tug-O-War began in 1981 and as a result is one of, if not the longest running event of carnival week.
It began when 3 friends, Pete Farrow, Terry Baker and Joe Martin (former coxswain) were in the Old Hastings Club and were discussing who was the “hardest“ pub.
They decided, in their wisdom, to hold a tug-o-war event consisting of teams from old town pubs.
The Ladies did not start joining in the event until much later around 1988 and the event is now open to anyone not just old town pubs.
Joe Martin was the first referee, later taken on by his Daughter Joanna Martin . In 2001, Pete Farrow’s daughter, Claire Harley took over the organisation of the event and in 2003 took control of the microphone. It is her distinctive roar that has been heard as far afield as Bembrook and the Pier for the last 17 years.
You take the strain and you PULL!!!
-- the distinctive roar of Claire Harley
Tug O War is held on the first Saturday of carnival week, outside the lifeboat house.
The event typically involves around 26 teams, with prizes for winners of the Men’s and Ladies competitions, best pull of the day and the “It’s only a bit of fun” trophy.
We love our fun teams, and this is not a serious event.
We have a large amount of banter with all the people taking part and there is much laughter heard around the area on Tug O War Day.
Everybody works really hard to put on a good day for those taking part and those spectating.
All money raised is donated to a charity or individual of the organisers’ choice and local children, or persons in need is always a priority consideration rather than big charities. So we would ask all of our Old Town businesses to donate to the cause, as we really do give back to local people, the same people who support those businesses all year round.
“it’s the best day of carnival week”
-- many people
It really is a great day and starts off carnival week with a bang and you will hear many people say it's the best day of carnival week.
So please come along and get involved, you won’t regret it.
Claire Harley kindly provided this history of the Tug-o-War
Claire Harley has organised the Tug-o-War since 2001, and since 2003 her distinctive roar has been heard from as far as Bembrook Rd and the Pier