Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday was celebrated in Penzance very much like Nickanan Night in the rest of Cornwall with widescale mischief. Children would often black their faces up with burnt cork, local fireman joining in the fun by dowsing the revellers and any body nearby with copious quatities of water.The morning proceeding these events would be time for collecting Trigg meat or shelfish from the foreshore which was eaten during the day. The historian JS Courtney wrote in his book “Half a Century of Penzance”.

“Shrove Tuesday from mid-day until night was a day of disorder; about noon the fire engines, under the superintendence of Mr. George Giddy, were taken out and tested, and the water very liberally distributed over the persons of the unwary. Some of the roughs used to get soot and grease on their hands, and coming behind the backs of the passers covered their faces with the disagreeable compound”

In the rest of Cornwall Shrovetide was and is a time for the Cornish sport of Hurling. As in the rest of the British Isles the making and eating of pancakes was common place.