It is surely one of the most unusual customs to take place anywhere in the country, but once again willing volunteers have lined up to have their heads banged against Helston’s boundary stones.

The annual Beating of the Bounds ceremony took place on Wednesday, this year including RNAS Culdrose on its route.

The ritual is believed to date back to the granting of a second charter of Queen Elizabeth in 1585 and was originally designed to ensure the boundaries of the parish were remembered and protected.

The modern day ritual is largely unchanged and involves a sod of turf being cut and placed on top of the granite marker stone. Members of the group are then lifted up one by one into a horizontal position before having their heads gently banged on the turf covered stone three times.

Among the group this year were Helston mayor Gillian Geer, members of the town council and pupils from Nansloe Acamdey.

Due to the large number of stones around Helston, only one third are beaten each year, the two stones that lie within the Culdrose naval base were last beaten three years ago.

The guests were joined by enthusiastic naval personnel AB Daniel Gardiner and AB Joe Smith from the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations and Culdrose 1st Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander Neil Bennett, who all enjoyed taking part and being ‘beaten.’

Earlier that afternoon the action had kicked off at the Lowertown roundabout, where Mrs Geer became one of the first to be upturned with the help of town warden Craig Bowcutt.