Tar Barrels

The present Tar Barrel Sub Committee was formed in 2005 and works alongside the main Carnival Committee. The aim of the Sub Committee is to raise funds to “keep the barrels burning” for future generations. In previous years the committee members have taken part in a barrel pull, in which they pull the unlit barrels around a circuit and collect money from people who pass by.

Each year the members of the Tar Barrel Sub Committee wear official t-shirts, a different colour each year. These are given to committee members once they have attended the health and safety briefing. Only people who have attended this briefing and are wearing the t-shirts can pull the burning tar barrels on carnival day.


In the lead up to the day of the carnival many hours of hard work and commitment go in to preparing the barrels and torches. This includes cutting down the sticks for the torches and tarring the barrels many times over using approximately 7 gallons of tar!

Tar Barrels at Hatherleigh CarnivalThe barrels are pulled up by the children of the town and surrounding areas on the Friday night unlit and then at 5am the first set of barrels are pulled ablaze through the streets of Hatherleigh to the market. The second set is then pulled along the same route after the carnival procession is over and has been cleared.


The committees would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Chris Hancock who has donated all the paraffin for this year and next year, without this there would be no burning barrels!

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