You’ll no doubt remember the 2012 London Olympics, but did you know that there’s another kind of Olympics out there which takes place across Great Britain every year? You won’t see spectacular opening ceremonies and the contestants may not look like the athletes you see on the TV, but these events are like no other you’ll witness anywhere else in the world and that makes them all the more special.
Of course, as they are much smaller scale contests, it isn’t always easy to know when they’re on or where they take place. Fortunately, Holiday Cottages have created a handy guide to the brightest and best of Britain’s unique traditional events and the incredible stories behind them.
So here are some of the highlights from The Other Great British Olympics:
British Lawn Mower Racing Championship
Mowing your lawn isn’t often the most exciting of household chores, but don’t let that fool you about the thrills and spills of the British Lawn Mower Racing Championship, which takes place in West Sussex every summer and sees contestants riding through the night in a 12-hour endurance race. It’s been going for 40 years and no grass (or people) are harmed, because the mowers don’t have their blades in.
World Black Pudding Throwing Championship
Hundreds of years ago in the Wars Of The Roses, it’s said that enemies from Lancashire and Yorkshire ended up flinging local delicacies (Black Pudding and Yorkshire Pudding respectively) at each other when they ran out of ammunition. Happily, local rivalries are less blood-stained these days, so the residents of Ramsbottom in Lancashire make do with throwing their Black Puddings at some Yorkshire Puddings. And you can too!
World Welly Wanging Championship
Another ‘Olympic’ event with its traditions lying in tales of violence (and slapstick) is this wonderfully-named contest. Apparently two farmers in Upperthong, Yorkshire got into a dispute after one spilled a drink over the other’s Wellington Boot. As things got nasty, the affronted farmer wanged (threw) his welly at the other one, so this world championship offers contestants the chance to wang their wellies as far as they can. Not at each other though, that would be horrible.
There are many other quirky championships and contests that take place around Britain every year and you can see more of the best of them in this digital posters from Holiday Cottages. The main question you’ll be asking at the end is whether you can fit them all in next year and where you can safely practice welly wanging.