Another Hot Cross bun hung up for Widow’s Son in Bow—200 years on

PUBLISHED: 10:11 02 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:11 02 April 2013

Able Seaman Nicola Triggs places this year's hot cross bun above the bar

Able Seaman Nicola Triggs places this year's hot cross bun above the bar


It’s been 200 years—but still the widow’s son hasn’t turned up to eat his hot cross bun.

His mum continued hanging a bun out every year on Good Friday until she died.

She always hoped he would return from sea to her house in the village of Bromley-by-Bow. But he never did—only the buns remained.

A pub nowadays stands on the site of her cottage, called the Widow’s Son in Devons Road, opened in 1848, where the tradition of hanging a bun in a hammock over the bar continues to this day.

A sailor from HMS President Naval Reserve base in Wapping turned up on Friday to add this year’s bun to the stale collection. The honour for hanging the bun went to Able Seaman Nicola Triggs

Landlady Erica Turner throws a ‘widow’s bash’ every year when up to 200 revellers turn up.

Oldest reveller this year was Patrick Hines, 93, born opposite the Widow’s Son pub and now living in Rainham, who has been to every ceremony for nearly 70 years.

Some of the ancient buns got ‘toasted’ when a blaze broke out in the pub in the 1980s.

Tradition has it that the widow refused to believe her son was lost at sea during the Napoleonic Wars and would have a new bun waiting for him every Easter, adding to those she had kept from previous years. When she eventually died, the buns were found hanging from a beam in her cottage.

The pub opened on the site in 1848, with the Hot Cross bun tradition that has been upheld by successive landlords ever since.

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