Grotter - a word in the English language to describe a hollow mound of sand or mud, the outside of which is decorated with oyster shells. They were built by children, particularly in Whitstable, as a lighted shrine to celebrate St. James' Day, and to try and get some monetary reward. Much as children built Guys for November 5th, Whitstable children built grotters, except here the cries were "Remember the Grotter" or "Penny for the Grotter please".
This tradition was also found along the reaches of the Thames where it continued until 1967 when it was stamped out as a 'nuisance'. To stop this tradition becoming just a memory, Whitstable has revived the art of Grotter building and dedicates one day of the festival to creating a landscape of grotters. This simple activity which connects children directly with the origins of the town, has become a popular and very enjoyable mainstay of the festival.
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