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We are group of local shanty enthusiasts who were brought together by Gareth Jones in April 2023 to form Marldon’s very own "Wonky Donkey" Shanty Group.
 
Our aim was to get together, sing traditional Shanty songs and generally have a really good time …….and to sing to audiences who would like to participate as well.
 
The first Wonky Donkey "gig" was some 3 weeks later in the Church House Inn in Marldon.   Since then the group have sung at private events, public events in and around Torbay and sung at events supporting the “
Veterans With Dogs” charity.

If you would like to book the Wonky Donkey Shanty Group to perform at one of your events then please contact us by using the links on this page
[We don't charge for charity gigs]

Where does the name Wonky Donkey come from, you may ask?.  The name comes from The Marldon Apple Pie Fair.
 
The people of Marldon owe a great deal to the late George Hill, who died towards the end of the 19th Century, and who was probably responsible for the Marldon Apple Pie. George's family still live in the village.
 
During the apple season, George used to travel weekly to the Market at St. Marychurch on a donkey, with panniers full of apples.  On his return, the panniers would be full of washing to be laundered.  On the day of the annual fair and sports day, held in Cary Park in St. Marychurch, George drove a cart around the town, carrying a huge apple pie, drawn by two black donkeys who wore harnesses and reins decorated with plaited straw.
 
The pie, oval in shape and about the size of a kitchen table, ended its journey at the fair and was eaten with cream by the local people.
 
From 1888 onwards, Marldon had its own annual show and sports day every September and the Marldon Apple Pie was a feature of the procession to the field. It was drawn to the field, in procession, led by a local band all the way from the Royal Oak pub (now a private residence) where the pie was baked, down to the field.
 
According to the recorded memories of villagers, the pie was baked in several sections and assembled as a full pie on the donkey cart. The villagers referred to the annual event as “Apple Pie Day”.
 
The Apple Pie is still a feature of the annual fair and is pulled on a cart by a donkey. Whether it’s a wonky donkey or not we’re not quite sure ?

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