Turtle Rinsing in London

It’s a little known fact that every turtle that swims up the River Thames past Tower Bridge into the Pool of London becomes the property and responsibility of the monarch. This rule is part of the Common Law of England and dates back to the time of Queen Matilda in the 12th Century. The RoyalContinue reading “Turtle Rinsing in London”

Skipping around the windmill

The concept of the Village Idiot is a long-held tradition that was refined to its highest degree in rural Somerset in the 1300s. At that time the position of Village Idiot was an official job title and had a salary, though it was paid in acorns. Both men and women could apply for the roleContinue reading “Skipping around the windmill”

Sports the Olympics Forgot – The Skipping Games

This is an excerpt from the Skipping Games story in the book, Sports the Olympics Forgot The Skipping Games take place in Skipton on the last Saturday of September. As the name suggests all the events require the contestant to skip rope during the race. The rope must be in use at all times andContinue reading “Sports the Olympics Forgot – The Skipping Games”

The “She Loves Me, She Loves Me not” Contest – Exmoor – Part 1

Fans of Lorna Doone believe that Exmoor is a romantic place and so many of them come with a dandelion and play the “she loves me, she loves me not” game – men blow the dandelion and say “she loves me” and then blow it again and say “she loves me not.” The blowing continuesContinue reading “The “She Loves Me, She Loves Me not” Contest – Exmoor – Part 1”

The Hairy Legs Contest – British Traditions

Excerpt from a book of British Traditions When people were painting the town red in Melton in the 15th Century some of the locals started to compare various parts of their bodies with those of other people. Eventually, the comparisons turned to the hairiness of the legs and it was noticed that a man calledContinue reading “The Hairy Legs Contest – British Traditions”

Animal Gambling – British Tradition

Excerpt from a book of British Traditions Another contest was ‘Attract the mouse,” which was played in the house of Martha Grable. She had a large mousehole in her skirting board. Gamblers placed their pieces of cheese around the hole and then crouched down behind the sofa to wait. The judge ensured that each pieceContinue reading “Animal Gambling – British Tradition”

Littondale Wall Building – British Tradition

Excerpt from a book of British Traditions In 1842, Jeremiah Spalding built the longest wall in the history of the competition. It stretched 167 yards up the hill and was in a perfectly straight line. However, this wall didn’t win as it was just two feet high and one foot wide – the judges didn’tContinue reading “Littondale Wall Building – British Tradition”

Turtle Rinsing in London – British Traditions

Excerpt from a book of British Traditions Once the turtle is observed by The Royal Turtle Deputy-Surveyor using a spyglass, the Royal Net Bearer apprehends the creature in a special Turtle net that’s over two hundred years old. Once clear of the water, the turtle in the net is raised to shoulder height. Using aContinue reading “Turtle Rinsing in London – British Traditions”

Dancing around the Windmill – British Tradition

Excerpt from a book of British Traditions Starting at 8 o’clock in the morning the contestants are presented to the watching crowds in their fool’s costumes. Each contestant is given a gallon vat of apple cider, which they must drink by nine o’clock or be disqualified from the dance. They are not allowed to eatContinue reading “Dancing around the Windmill – British Tradition”