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”

Walking the Weasel

According to the Lindisfarne Chronicles, “Walking the Ways All” was an annual tradition in all Anglo-Saxon towns. The third Thursday in July was set aside for the townsfolk to walk along the common pathways and re-establish their right to frequent these paths. According to the English Common Law, if this annual reclamation wasn’t performed theseContinue reading “Walking the Weasel”

City breaks with kids: Barcelona

It’s a favourite destination for adults, but Barcelona has loads to offer kids, whether they’re into football, science, the seaside or amusement parks

Playing Card Festival at Willoughby Waterless

Playing cards have played an important role in people’s lives for centuries. The Playing Card Festival has been held annually since 1682 to celebrate all the non-gambling uses that playing cards can be used for. It all began when the wife of local gambler Ralph Meadows decided that she would remove all gambling temptation fromContinue reading “Playing Card Festival at Willoughby Waterless”

Australia Day

An extract from the book 40 Humourous British Traditions The Northampton sheep thief, George Bellamy, was the first person to ever return from Australia after escaping from the penal colony in 1788. Despite his claims to have swum back, it’s thought that he stowed away on a Dutch East India slave ship from Indonesia toContinue reading “Australia Day”

The Ludlow Catching Acorns and Conkers Festival – 40 Humourous British Traditions

The biggest scandal, even surpassing the Jackson affair, was the Biggs Jackdaw Scandal of 1891. Thomas Biggs thought that he could win by training his pet jackdaw, Reuben, to jump around in the tree above his head and so either loosen the tree fruit or throw them to Biggs when he was on his ownContinue reading “The Ludlow Catching Acorns and Conkers Festival – 40 Humourous British Traditions”