Children will listen to the witch

Toddington pupils will run up Conger Hill ton Shrove Tuesday (February 28) to take part in an ancient tradition.

As the church clock strikes midday, they will put their ears to the ground on the site of an old Norman motte and bailey castle to listen to the sizzling sound of the witch frying her pancakes.

The custom died out several years ago but was revived by the Toddington Old Boys Association in 2011 and has been going strong ever since,

Member John Bryant can remember listening to the witch way back in the 1950s and was pleased to report that she’s still going about her business.

It’s a legend that dates back at least 150 years and is shrouded in the mists of time. But it’s thought the sizzling sound was actually the reverberation of the church clock as it rang to remind village women to make their pancakes.