Dwile Flonking, Suffolk

This is an event which became a recognised sport in the 1960s. This is from Curious Country Customs by Jeremy Hobson:

“Originally played outside the Farmers’ Boy pub at Kensworth on 22 January, Dwile Flonking is now also played in .. Bungay and Beccles, where it is considered a summer rather than a winter event.

Officially, the game is played by 2 teams of 12 players, but numbers can be flexible. First a sugar beet is tossed to decide which team is going to ‘flonk’ first. Next the fielding team gathers in a circle, galled a ‘girter’ enclosing a member of the other team, the ‘flonker’. He holds a broom handle, uually known as the ‘driveller’, on top of which is a beer-soaked rag, the ‘dwile’ (an old Suffolk term for a dishcloth). At a signal, the girter dances around the flonker in a circle. He must flonk the dwile with the driveller so that it hits a girter team member.

His score depends on which part of he body he hits: the usual scoring is 3 points for a hit on the head, 2 for the body and 1 for the legs. If, after 2 shots, the flonker hasn’t scored, he is ‘swadged’ and has to drink beer from a chamber pot within a certain time.”

It probably makes a lot more sense after a few drinks.


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