You can’t beat a good tradition!

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POOR young people should avoid Brackley town centre of Sunday as the Morris Men beat the bounds of the parish.

Last performed in 2005, Beating the Bounds only takes place when a May Day coincides with a Sunday.

The day will begin as the first rays of sunlight hit the Brackley Piazza and the Morris Men perform their annual celebration of May Day at around 5.30am.

But this year instead of heading straight to the Red Lion pub for breakfast, which has a special early licence, the Morris Men will beat the bounds starting at Goose Green.

Colin Reid, squire of Brackley Morris Men, said the basis of the tradition is vague but some believe it was designed to fix the parish boundaries in the minds of people who were receiving charitable support.

Mr Reid said: “The parish boundaries were very important because if you became destitute it was the parish that had to take care of you.

“So they basically took children and youths around the parish stopping at various markers and literally beat them in order to fix in their minds where the edges of the parish were.”

The tradition died out during the 1800s but re-emerged, without the beating, when the Brackley Morris side was reformed in the 1960s.

After Goose Green the Morris Men will dance at the Fox Inn in Banbury Road, Manor Lane and then by St Peters Church before a 10am service. After which they will return to the Red Lion.