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For The

Insertion Ritual

Novice members are often alarmed at their first sight of the Implements of Insertion -- and with due cause.


Which of the treasured Cult relics are to be used for the Insertion -- in what order by what method?


Pictured in their regalia in 1858, and readying themselves for the Sudden barge, are revered Elders Phineus ‘Thruster’ Firtherup (left) and Josiah ‘Flexer’ Bletherworp — both accredited masters of the ancient craft. Their handbook, ‘The Art of the Plunging Stroke’, remains essential reading, and sets out both the order of service and techniques required at each stage.


In the nineteenth century, the ‘Holders of the Implements’ would join the barge at the entrance to the Jacksie Canal, and would assist with progress along the tunnel using the horned 'chest-punter' pipe, driven home repeatedly at the vessel’s rear. 


A lively jig on the squeezebox, allowed only once a year, broke the usual silence of transit near Bardfield, and would keep the bow’s twin 'barge-dancers' synchronised and on a straight course.


Once at Finchingfield Lock, according to the ritual handbook and modern practice, the rapier is passed from Thruster to Flexer and serves as a ceremonial spile, plunged into the first rotund victim lifted off the deck.


Then the hollow horned pole can be firmly and rapidly impelled into the recipient’s sacred orifice — delivering a first gush of hopped nectar along its length, out through the bull’s mouth, and into the Thruster’s pewter cup. The Great Quaffery phase can then commence. 


The ceremony closes only when participants become incapable of adequate co-ordination or passion for further penetrations.


Sadly, passage up the canal is today no longer possible, the brickwork dismantled by pilfering Bardists many years past. While the rite is still performed beside the pond sluice-gate, only three dozen barrels of beer arrive on the crude raft of wooden pallets and oil cans hauled up the stream by Mrs Tiddles of Riverside Cottage.


But the central purpose of the ritual and its intubations remain a source of pleasure for all. And novices can finally put their fears aside.

Hand point L.jpg
Hand point R.jpg
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