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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 11 °C

    4 °C

  • Sunny day 14 °C

    5 °C

  • Sunny intervals 13 °C

    7 °C

  • Sunny day 13 °C

    7 °C

  • Sunny intervals 13 °C

    9 °C

  • Cloudy 13 °C

    10 °C

  • Cloudy 12 °C

    6 °C

Friday (24 March 2017)
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Cloudy Cloudy Heavy shower night Light rain Overcast Cloudy Overcast Overcast Overcast Overcast Overcast Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Sunny intervals Cloudy Clear night Clear night Clear night Clear night Partly cloudy night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
7  ° 7  ° 6  ° 6  ° 6  ° 6  ° 7  ° 7  ° 8  ° 8  ° 9  ° 10  ° 11  ° 11  ° 11  ° 10  ° 9  ° 9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  °
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Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
3  ° 3  ° 2  ° 2  ° 2  ° 3  ° 3  ° 3  ° 4  ° 5  ° 6  ° 7  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  ° 6  ° 5  ° 4  ° 3  °
Precipitation probability Expand
10% 10% 60% 50% 30% 20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
NE 15 28 NE 14 27 NE 14 26 NE 14 27 NE 14 28 NE 14 28 NE 13 26 NE 13 25 NE 14 25 NE 14 24 NE 13 24 ENE 13 24 ENE 13 23 NE 11 21 NE 10 21 NNE 9 19 NE 10 23 NE 12 26 NE 13 27 NE 13 27 NE 13 26
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
G G M M M G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G
Humidity Expand
84% 84% 86% 90% 90% 89% 89% 88% 86% 84% 82% 79% 77% 77% 78% 79% 80% 81% 83% 84% 86%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Sunrise: 06:08 Sunset: 18:32 Moon phase: Waning crescent Air pollution: 2
Saturday (25 March 2017)
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Clear night Clear night Clear night Clear night Clear night Clear night Clear night Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Clear night Clear night Clear night Clear night Clear night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
6  ° 6  ° 5  ° 5  ° 5  ° 4  ° 4  ° 5  ° 6  ° 8  ° 9  ° 11  ° 12  ° 13  ° 14  ° 14  ° 13  ° 12  ° 11  ° 10  ° 9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  °
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Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
3  ° 2  ° 1  ° 1  ° 1  ° 0  ° 0  ° 1  ° 2  ° 4  ° 6  ° 7  ° 9  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 9  ° 8  ° 7  ° 6  ° 5  ° 4  ° 3  °
Precipitation probability Expand
<5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
NE 13 27 NE 12 27 NE 13 28 NE 13 28 NE 14 29 NE 14 30 NE 14 31 NE 14 31 NE 14 29 NE 16 29 NE 16 30 NE 16 30 NE 17 30 NE 18 32 NE 18 33 NE 18 33 NE 17 31 NE 14 29 NE 14 29 NE 14 30 ENE 14 30 ENE 14 30 ENE 14 30 ENE 13 28
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG G G G G G G G VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
86% 84% 85% 86% 87% 86% 86% 82% 74% 68% 65% 60% 52% 49% 47% 47% 50% 54% 56% 56% 55% 55% 56% 57%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Sunrise: 06:06 Sunset: 18:34 Moon phase: Waning crescent Air pollution: 3
Sunday (26 March 2017)
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Clear night Clear night Clear night Sunny day Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Cloudy Cloudy
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
6  ° 5  ° 5  ° 8  ° 12  ° 13  ° 10  ° 9  °
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Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
3  ° 1  ° 1  ° 5  ° 9  ° 10  ° 8  ° 6  °
Precipitation probability Expand
<5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% 10% 10%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
ENE 12 26 NE 13 26 NE 12 24 ENE 15 28 E 16 30 E 15 27 E 12 20 E 13 21
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
59% 69% 81% 78% 65% 62% 75% 79%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 2 4 2 1 0
Sunrise: 06:04 Sunset: 18:35 Moon phase: Waning crescent Air pollution: 3
Monday (27 March 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Partly cloudy night Partly cloudy night Partly cloudy night Sunny intervals Sunny day Sunny day Sunny day Clear night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
8  ° 7  ° 7  ° 9  ° 12  ° 13  ° 11  ° 9  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
5  ° 4  ° 4  ° 6  ° 10  ° 10  ° 8  ° 6  °
Precipitation probability Expand
<5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% 10%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
E 12 21 E 11 19 ENE 11 18 E 13 23 ESE 14 25 ESE 14 25 ESE 11 19 ESE 11 17
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG VG G VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
85% 88% 91% 84% 74% 69% 78% 86%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 2 4 2 1 0
Sunrise: 07:01 Sunset: 19:37 Moon phase: New Air pollution: 4
Tuesday (28 March 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Clear night Clear night Partly cloudy night Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny day Cloudy
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 10  ° 12  ° 13  ° 11  ° 10  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
6  ° 6  ° 5  ° 8  ° 10  ° 10  ° 9  ° 8  °
Precipitation probability Expand
<5% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
ESE 10 16 SE 9 14 SE 9 15 SSE 11 19 S 13 23 SSW 13 24 SSW 11 18 SSW 9 15
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG G G G G VG G G
Humidity Expand
90% 92% 94% 87% 80% 79% 88% 94%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 2 3 2 1 0
Sunrise: 06:59 Sunset: 19:39 Moon phase: New Air pollution: 3
Wednesday (29 March 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Light rain Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
10  ° 10  ° 10  ° 11  ° 13  ° 12  ° 11  ° 11  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
8  ° 7  ° 7  ° 8  ° 10  ° 10  ° 9  ° 8  °
Precipitation probability Expand
10% 10% 10% 40% 10% 10% 10% 20%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
S 10 16 S 10 17 S 11 19 S 13 23 S 16 28 S 16 27 S 14 23 S 14 24
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
G G G G G G G G
Humidity Expand
95% 95% 94% 91% 84% 83% 88% 89%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 1 3 1 1 0
Sunrise: 06:57 Sunset: 19:40 Moon phase: New
Thursday (30 March 2017)
0100 0400 0700 1000 1300 1600 1900 2200
Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Light rain Light rain Cloudy Cloudy Light shower night
Warnings
Temperature (°C) arrow down
11  ° 10  ° 10  ° 11  ° 12  ° 10  ° 10  ° 9  °
Show all detail Show all detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
8  ° 7  ° 7  ° 8  ° 9  ° 8  ° 8  ° 7  °
Precipitation probability Expand
20% 20% 20% 50% 50% 20% 20% 30%
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
S 15 25 S 14 24 S 14 24 S 16 27 S 17 30 E 10 17 E 9 15 E 9 14
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
G G G G G VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
90% 92% 92% 90% 87% 78% 81% 85%
UV index Expand
0 0 0 1 2 2 1 0
Sunrise: 06:55 Sunset: 19:42 Moon phase: New

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.