Badge of the week ~ Saffron Walden Town


There are no rappers in Saffron Walden, according to the Office of National Statistics. In the 1930s there was one resident who attended a garden party in spats but there have been no further recorded incidents of anything else like this. One of the most popular pastimes of Saffron Waldeners is a game that is peculiar to the town and one commemorated on the football club’s badge.

“Reveal The Chimney” can be played as a parlour game or, as in most instances, can be enjoyed in a communal way, on a grassy area with a barbecue, music and real ale. In the latter version, a large print, sometimes up to ten-foot square, of a photograph of a local person’s chimney, is hidden behind tarpaulin. The game leader, or “Chimeneer” (either the most senior person present or someone who drinks green tea) tugs at the tarpaulin to reveal a section of the photograph at a time.

The first person to identify the chimney correctly wins a broiled pigeon. Or, for vegetarians, a herring. Apart from one non-fatal stabbing in 1982 when an ex-directory chimney was revealed without permission, the game is played in the very best of spirits. Cameron Carter