The Littleport Button Tree
The Littleport Button Tree project
Field Theatre Group
Click on 'About the Project' to view all stories and site contents
The 363 MCC, motorcycle club was set up in 2012 in honour of the Littleport Rioters of 1816, five of whom were hanged.
363 equals the year 1816 divided by 5, the number of Littleport hanged men.
The Littleport riots, occurred between 22 and 24 May 1816. The huge costs of the Napoleonic Wars resulted in massive taxation. Basic commodities, like cereals and bread, became heavily over-priced, creating widespread social unrest. There was no work or very little and people were starving.
On 22 May 1816, a group of 56 residents met at The Globe Inn in Littleport to discuss the lack of work and rising grain costs and to distribute money from the mutual aid club they all paid into, they found that rather than a few members needing support, all did.
The residents directed their anger at local farmer Henry Martin. He had been overseer of the poor in 1814 and was not well liked by the parishioners. One man blew a lighterman’s horn, gathering hundreds of villagers to join the first group, fuelled by alcohol, they left the inn and began intimidating wealthier Littleport residents, demanding money and destroying property.
The Littleport Riot had begun.
Many of the rioters were eventually arrested, some were deported, some imprisoned and five were hanged. The injustice of this harsh sentence is still felt in the village of Littleport today.
As Mark Robinson the current 363 MCC president says: ‘This is a village that remembers and reveres its past.’
As well as their shared passion for bikes, the 363MCC club members are very well known for their charitable activities. The club’s annual ‘Crowning Around’ bike show in Littleport, raises large sums of money for charity (including most recently £3,500 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Defibrillator Fund).
You may also see them on their annual ‘Santa Run’ delivering presents to children in Addenbrookes Hospital. They have ride outs to support a wide range of causes and are always in the forefront of doing good deeds for others.