Picture Special: Villagers pull together as 63-year tradition continues by the river

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured are the Tiddington ladies in action
The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured are the Tiddington ladies in action

The 63rd edition of the Ickford and Tiddington tug-of-war pulled in large crowds as the villages contested their annual battle across the River Thame.

Ickford in Buckinghamshire enjoyed success in both the ladies and junior pulls, while Tiddington in Oxfordshire was successful in the main event of the night, the men’s pull.

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Getting the rope ready

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Getting the rope ready

The event began in 1953 as a challenge between two farmers John Bull and Alec Neil.

Now it has become an annual tradition in which two teams of eight battle for supremacy in front of crowds in excess of 500 people.

Daniel Brownsill, lead puller for Tiddington said: “I am very pleased that we won.

“The pull lasted nine and a half minutes so it was pretty long.

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-of-war - Pictured are the Ickford ladies celebrating their win

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-of-war - Pictured are the Ickford ladies celebrating their win

“We have now won five men’s pulls in a row.

“We had two new pullers who did a good job but we have managed to keep a lot of the same team that we had in previous years.”

Matt French, who pulls in the number four position for Ickford said: “We have had a bit of a pasting in recent years.

“Once you lose the momentum it can be difficult to claw it back.

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-of-war - Pictured is action from the Ickford side

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-of-war - Pictured is action from the Ickford side

“We had a good team this year but Tiddington were the better side.”

On the ladies event which lasted four-and-a-half minutes this year, Matt added: “Our ladies team haven’t lost for quite a few years now.

“It was a tough pull for them this year so they had to fight hard for their victory.”

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured is action from the Ickford side

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured is action from the Ickford side

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured is the Ickford team crossing the river to congratulate Tiddington

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured is the Ickford team crossing the river to congratulate Tiddington

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Tiddington celebrate winning the mens pull PNL-150808-071017009

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Tiddington celebrate winning the mens pull PNL-150808-071017009

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured are the Ickford ladies in action

The 63rd Ickford v Tiddington tug-o-war - Pictured are the Ickford ladies in action