THE ANCIENT tradition of the Beating of the Bounds will be revived in High Wycombe this weekend.

Mayor Jane White and the Charter Trustees will march around the old parish boundaries and gently beat a youngster's head on a box to mark the old border at noon on Sunday.

The ritual dates back many centuries to the days before ordnance survey maps, when it was necessary to walk the parish boundaries to mark them out afresh each year.

Beating the Bounds was common in towns until the nineteenth century but died out in High Wycombe in the 1920s before it was reintroduced by ex-mayor Frances Alexander in 1998.

Marker stones were also put at the site of some of the original boundary stones the same year, but the tradition was suspended again in 2006.

But current town clerk Bill Reid has brought back the ceremony and joked that he was looking forward to 'gently bashing' children's heads onto the unique bumping box.

He said: “When I was appointed clerk, I said that I wanted to bring back some of our traditions because they are important and help to make High Wycombe unique.

“I am hoping we get a big crowd and a lot of children who want to be turned upside down and gently bashed on the head – it's a really nice tradition and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it.”

The walk, which takes around an hour to complete and is open to all residents, begins at noon from the Wycombe District Council offices in Queen Victoria Road.