HUNGERFORD has a new Tutti Day Orangeman – and his face will be familiar to many.
Jim Scarlett stepped in to fill the void left by his predecessor Paul Lewington.
As reported by this newspaper last week, Mr Lewington died suddenly on Tuesday, February 28, just two months before he would have fulfilled his Hocktide duties for 2017, as in years gone by. He was aged 52.
But Hungerford’s traditions remain unbroken, even as the cast of characters changes.
Mr Scarlett, aged 70, is married to Denise, has lived in Hungerford all his life and is chairman of the town’s Royal British Legion Club.
What is more, he is a former Tutti Man – and the role of Orangeman is already in his blood. He is pictured carrying out his Tutti Man duties in Hocktide, 2011.
Mr Lewington was appointed Orangeman in 2003, succeeding his uncle, Bob Lewington, who retired after 25 years of duty.
But before him, the role was occupied by Jim Scarlett’s uncle, Dick Scarlett, who served as Orangeman from 1948 to 1967.
At Hocktide, the duties of the Orangeman are to assist, guide and mentor the two Tutti Men when visiting all the commoners’ properties; selecting which properties should be visited, and keeping to an appropriate time schedule.
The Orangeman also carries the oranges and pennies handed out through the day.
Constable of the Town and Manor of Hungerford Ellie Dickins said: “We’re grateful to Jim for stepping in and offering to fill the role for this year.”
Mr Scarlett said: “I remember when my uncle Dick was Orangeman, so I volunteered to the Town and Manor to see if I could help out.
“I’m Hungerford born and bred and I remember we used to have a day off school and we’d follow the Tutti Men on their rounds.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
He added: “Having said that, I’m not sure if it will become a regular thing because I’m 71 on Friday (tomorrow) and there’s a lot of walking involved.”