A classic example of a quirky Cornwall event that’s been a tradition for centuries, the Hurling of the Silver Ball is an ancient game that’s a little bit like rugby in the streets of St Ives. Part of the annual St Ives Feast, the game sees people gather in their hundreds to watch teams try to grapple the silver ball from each other as the event moves through the town’s historic streets.
The feast always takes place on the nearest Monday after 3 February, and traditionally, the parish churches of St Ives and nearby Lelant were used as goals for the competition. The game usually lasts for several hours, and the winning team (whoever give the silver ball back to the mayor at midday) is awarded a shilling before the Feast Day celebrations continue.
The ball’s made from apple wood with a silver coating, and this is one of the few remaining events that includes the historic sport Cornish hurling. If you want to watch the action as it unfolds pick a spot near the beach and wait for the game to make its way down to the shore…and there’s always one who’s so keen to keep the ball that he plunges into the chilly sea!
9th February 2016