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Tar barrels

Tar-barrels.JPG
Tar barrels

Sat 5 Nov 2016

Tar barrels is a tradition that takes place around Bonfire night in Ottery St. Mary.

In the 12 months leading up to the event, barrels are lined and soaked with coal tar. On the night of tar barrels, the barrels are lit and carried through the streets of Ottery St. Mary while thousands cheer on the barrel-rollers.

The origins of the tar barrels are unknown however stories lead us to believe it began post the gunpowder plot of 1605 as a way of either fumigating cottages or as a warning of the Spanish armada.

Lighting barrels is a tradition that takes place in various locations in the South West however Ottery St. Mary is recognised worldwide for carrying the tar barrels on their backs.

  • Cloudy 12 °C

    10 °C

  • Heavy rain 11 °C

    6 °C

  • Cloudy 12 °C

    5 °C

  • Sunny intervals 15 °C

    7 °C

  • Sunny intervals 15 °C

    7 °C

  • Cloudy 14 °C

    7 °C

  • Cloudy 14 °C

    8 °C

Saturday (29 April 2017)
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Overcast Cloudy Cloudy Light shower day Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny day Sunny intervals Sunny day Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Partly cloudy night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
7  ° 7  ° 6  ° 7  ° 7  ° 9  ° 10  ° 11  ° 10  ° 12  ° 12  ° 12  ° 12  ° 12  ° 12  ° 11  ° 11  ° 10  ° 10  ° 11  ° 11  °
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Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
6  ° 6  ° 5  ° 6  ° 7  ° 8  ° 8  ° 9  ° 8  ° 9  ° 10  ° 10  ° 9  ° 9  ° 9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  ° 7  ° 7  ° 8  °
Precipitation probability Expand
10% <5% <5% 30% <5% <5% 10% <5% 10% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
E 2 2 E 2 6 E 2 8 E 3 10 ESE 3 8 SSE 6 13 SSE 8 14 S 9 16 SSE 11 19 SSE 11 19 SSE 12 21 SSE 13 23 SE 14 25 SE 14 25 SE 15 27 ESE 15 28 ESE 15 30 ESE 16 32 ESE 16 33 ESE 16 34 ESE 17 35
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG VG VG VG VG VG E E VG E VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
83% 84% 82% 82% 84% 78% 69% 65% 71% 65% 65% 64% 64% 65% 64% 65% 69% 75% 74% 76% 77%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 1 1 0 0 0
Sunrise: 05:52 Sunset: 20:30 Moon phase: Waxing crescent Air pollution: 3
Sunday (30 April 2017)
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Clear night Partly cloudy night Clear night Partly cloudy night Partly cloudy night Partly cloudy night Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Light rain Light rain Light shower night Partly cloudy night Partly cloudy night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  °
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8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  ° 7  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  ° 7  ° 7  ° 7  ° 7  ° 7  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  ° 6  ° 6  °
Precipitation probability Expand
<5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% 10% 10% 20% 80% 80% 90% ≥95% ≥95% ≥95% ≥95% 90% 90% 80% 50% 50% 40% <5% <5%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
ESE 18 37 SE 18 38 SE 18 38 SE 17 36 SE 17 35 SE 16 33 SE 15 31 SE 15 30 SE 15 30 SE 15 29 SE 14 27 SE 14 28 SE 12 25 SE 13 26 SE 13 27 SSE 14 27 SSE 12 24 SSE 11 23 S 10 20 S 9 18 S 7 16 S 6 13 S 6 11 S 6 11
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG M M M P P P M G G VG VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
75% 72% 73% 73% 73% 74% 74% 75% 77% 81% 85% 88% 90% 93% 92% 92% 91% 89% 88% 86% 86% 86% 88% 89%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
Sunrise: 05:50 Sunset: 20:32 Moon phase: Waxing crescent Air pollution: 3
Monday (1 May 2017)
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Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Light shower day Sunny intervals Partly cloudy night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
7  ° 7  ° 6  ° 8  ° 10  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 8  °
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Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
6  ° 5  ° 4  ° 5  ° 7  ° 8  ° 9  ° 9  ° 7  °
Precipitation probability Expand
10% 10% 10% 10% 20% 20% 40% 10% 10%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
S 6 11 SW 5 12 SSW 7 12 WSW 9 16 W 14 26 WSW 13 27 W 12 23 W 10 17 W 7 12
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG VG VG VG G G VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
89% 90% 90% 89% 77% 70% 69% 73% 86%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 1 3 5 3 1 0
Sunrise: 05:48 Sunset: 20:33 Moon phase: Waxing crescent Air pollution: 4
Tuesday (2 May 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Partly cloudy night Clear night Sunny day Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Partly cloudy night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
7  ° 6  ° 7  ° 11  ° 14  ° 15  ° 14  ° 10  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
5  ° 4  ° 5  ° 10  ° 13  ° 14  ° 13  ° 9  °
Precipitation probability Expand
10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% <5%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
WNW 6 11 NW 6 9 NNW 6 10 NNW 6 13 N 6 15 NNE 6 15 NW 6 12 N 6 10
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG G G VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
92% 95% 94% 78% 69% 66% 71% 85%
UV index Expand
0 0 1 3 6 3 1 0
Sunrise: 05:46 Sunset: 20:35 Moon phase: Waxing crescent Air pollution: 4
Wednesday (3 May 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Clear night Clear night Sunny intervals Sunny day Cloudy Cloudy Sunny day Clear night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 11  ° 14  ° 14  ° 13  ° 11  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
8  ° 6  ° 5  ° 9  ° 11  ° 12  ° 11  ° 9  °
Precipitation probability Expand
<5% <5% <5% <5% 10% 10% <5% <5%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
N 7 12 NNE 9 14 NE 10 17 NE 12 23 NE 12 23 ENE 11 22 NE 11 19 NE 10 17
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG G VG VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
86% 89% 88% 75% 64% 64% 68% 77%
UV index Expand
0 0 1 3 5 2 1 0
Sunrise: 05:44 Sunset: 20:37 Moon phase: First quarter Air pollution: 4
Thursday (4 May 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Clear night Clear night Sunny day Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 11  ° 13  ° 14  ° 13  ° 11  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
7  ° 5  ° 5  ° 8  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 8  °
Precipitation probability Expand
<5% <5% <5% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
NE 11 18 NE 11 18 NE 12 19 ENE 14 25 ENE 14 26 ENE 13 24 E 12 20 ENE 11 19
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
80% 84% 85% 74% 67% 65% 67% 75%
UV index Expand
0 0 1 3 5 3 1 0
Sunrise: 05:43 Sunset: 20:38 Moon phase: First quarter
Friday (5 May 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Overcast Overcast Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 10  ° 13  ° 13  ° 13  ° 11  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
6  ° 5  ° 4  ° 7  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 8  °
Precipitation probability Expand
10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
ENE 13 20 ENE 13 21 ENE 14 23 ENE 16 27 E 16 28 E 15 25 E 13 21 ENE 14 23
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
79% 84% 86% 77% 70% 68% 70% 72%
UV index Expand
0 0 1 3 4 3 1 0
Sunrise: 05:41 Sunset: 20:40 Moon phase: First quarter

Issued at:

5 November - Check the Ottery St. Mary weather forecast if you are heading to tar barrels this bonfire night.

Tar barrels and the weather

Tar barrels takes place regardless of the weather, however weather conditions make a considerable difference to the number of visitors that come to the town. Tens of thousands of visitors arrive in Ottery St. Mary for the barrels each year and the numbers are steadily increasing.

Becoming a barrel-Roller

Becoming a barrel-roller is a highly sought after position in the town of Ottery. St. Mary. The tradition of becoming a barrel-roller has been passed through many generations of families from the area.

The evening consists of 17 barrels being lit across the town. The barrels in the late afternoon are the boy's barrels which are the smallest. The women's and youth barrels then take place in the early evening, followed by the men's barrels in the evening.

The barrels are lit from pubs and hotels across the town until the midnight barrel, which is the largest barrel and takes place in the town square.