TUG-of-war is a serious business for these eight residents of Tiddington near Thame.

They are preparing for their annual battle against the residents of nearby Buckinghamshire village Ickford.

Daniel Brownsill, 33, captain of the Oxfordshire team, said: “It’s a tradition that was started 63 years ago by two farmers.

“It was an argument about the question of which town is stronger. It’s just a good bit of rivalry.“ He has taken part in the pull every year since he was 12 years old.

He said: “This will be my 21st year doing it, I used to do the junior pull before I joined the men’s team.

“My dad pulled at the number one position before I did, and when he stopped I took over.”

Tiddington have won the competition for the last three years.

Mr Brownsill, a carpenter, said: “We have been training for about two months.

“We have our trophy, it’s nothing special but it’s got a lot of history and is much loved.”

The tug-of-war is on Friday at 7pm on the banks of the river at the end of Ickford Road.

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