Ely Kingâ€™s and Queenâ€™s Scholars are preparing for one of the most fiercely contested events in the King’s School school calendar â€“ the annual Hoop Trundle.
The scholars, in their scarlet gowns, run races in the Cathedral precinct while bowling traditional wooden hoops.
The Hoop Trundle commemorates the re-founding of The Kingâ€™s School Ely by King Henry V111 in 1541. Having dissolved Ely monastery, which had educated children for centuries, he gave the school its first royal charter and established the 12 Kingâ€™s Scholars (boys). One of the privileges he allowed them was to play games, including the bowling of hoops, in the Cathedral precincts.
In 1970, the school admitted girls for the first time in its 1,000-year history, and three years later the Kingâ€™s Scholars were joined by Queenâ€™s Scholars (girls) at the request of Queen Elizabeth 11 during her visit to the school in 1973.
Pupils are nominated as scholars in the Sixth Form for their academic achievement. They become members of the Cathedral Foundation and also qualify for other privileges.
The Hoop Trundle commemorates the re-founding of The Kingâ€™s School Ely by King Henry V111 in 1541.
In the Hoop Trundle, separate races are held for the Kingâ€™s and Queenâ€™s Scholars. Two or three heats precede each final and the two winners hold commemorative wooden tankards for a year. The scholars are instructed to run the length of the 75-yard course, turn around a marker and then run back, all without stopping. Pupils and staff line the course on both sides and cheer them on.
This yearâ€™s event will be held on Saturday 17 March at 12.15pm, by the south door of the cathedral. The public are welcome to attend.