Pithy Pars

A rather unique, idiosyncratic feature to Guy Carnival time in Harwich is the Pithy Pars (now known as the carnival programme and pithy pars). Gren Tyrell, who helped revise the carnival in the 1950s, recalls that they are likely to have begun during the early, pre-war days of the carnival. Instead of an actual programme there were notice boards outside the many pubs in the town, where people would add little cryptic comments about others that they wanted to ‘have a go at’ or poke fun at. This was incorporated into the Guy Carnival programme from 1956 onwards.


In Harwich you know how it goesNever step on any toes!This town ain’t big enough for the both of usYou’re up against the Harwich MafiaGo it alone and they’ll come and get ya!


A circus opened in Harwich Town,
run by a monkey and a clown,
organisation they were eschewing,
too much talking and not enough doing.

Send your Pithy Pars in all year round to guycarnivalpithypars@live.co.uk