WORLD EGG THROWING WINS QUIRKIEST EVENT IN ENGLAND
The joy of watching Russian egg roulette and target throwing has won The World Egg Throwing Championships the top prize for quirkiest event in England.
The egg fanatics beat off competition from events such as stilton cheese-rolling, crabbing, coal carrying, nettle eating and an asparagus festival to triumph in the very first “Where Else but England Award” – a new award in the annual Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, sponsored by the Caravan Club. After regional heats across England, a shortlist of 18 finalists fought it out to win the top accolade in a public vote. More than 40,000 people voted on both The Sun newspaper and Enjoy England’s websites to vote for their favourite quirky events and eccentric experiences that are unique to England.
Andy Dunlop, organiser of the World Egg Throwing Championship said he was deeply honoured to receive the award in rightful recognition that egg throwing is: “the sport of England, with ancient origins predating rugby, football, caber tossing and synchronised swimming. We look forward to the approach from the British Olympic Committee with their offer of appearing in 2012 as a demonstration sport”. Andy said: “We are eggstatic at this result and eggcited by the recognition of our sporting achievements. Some say it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, not a real sport, but they are just yolking. The five ancient disciplines take practice, stamina, skill and experience. Luck and foolishness plays no part in this sport, unlike rowing, marathon running or gymnastics. The hard boiled truth is that egg throwing is the only true sport where a 12 year old boy can win a gold medal for throwing three eggs into the unprotected groin of a 6'3" 240 lb muscleman, where a pack of eleven Brownies can win gold for passing 12 eggs along a line faster than any one else, where a seven-year old girl or 73 year old grandmother can be World Champion by smashing eggs on her head. This sport of England is now recognised the World over as a true test of skill, hard work and honour.”
Amanda Smyth of VisitEngland said: “There are some startlingly creative and exciting experiences to be found around the country. We hope this award will remind people of those traditions, both old and new, that are unique to England and inspire them to go out and explore what’s on their doorstep.”
The 2010 top ten quirkiest events in England voted in order of popularity in the Where Else But England awards are:
1. World Egg Throwing Championships are next held on 27 June at Swaton Vintage Day near Sleaford in Lincolnshire This eggtastic eggstravaganza offers everything from basic egg throwing and catching to relays, egg roulette and build your own egg hurling trebuchet. www.eggthrowing.com
2. Worthing Bird Man Festival 14 and 15 August 2010 in Worthing, West Sussex. Watch people jumping off Worthing pier in an attempt to fly 100m to win a big prize. Or take three flying classes to decide if you want to take part. www.worthingbirdman.co.uk
3. The Annual World Nettle Eating Contest, held this year on 12 June in Marshwood in Dorset, is apparently the only place in the world where you can see brave competitors munching through up to 48ft of stinging nettles! Yum. www.visit-dorset.com
4. Worcestershire Asparagus Festival, between April 23 – May 31 in Evesham, Worcestershire. Asparagus-mania hits the rural market town of Evesham every year, celebrating the start of the English asparagus season. The month-long festival includes a Great Asparagus Run, an “asparomancer” asparagus fortune teller as well as tastings and farmers markets. www.britishasparagusfestival.org
5. Haxey Hood – Every January the villages of Haxey in North Lincolnshire have “a kind or rugby game with no rules and unlimited participants”. It’s been going on since the 14th century to celebrate the day a local Lady donated land to farmers to thank them for chasing her lost bonnet twww.wheewall.com/hood
6. The World's Biggest Liar Competition November 2010 - at the Santon Bridge Inn in Cumbria. This event celebrates the tall tales of a previous publican Will Ritson and in recent years the audience has heard how the Lake District was formed not by ice or volcanic action, but by large moles and eels!. www.santonbridgeinn.com/liar
7. Dwyle Flonking The villagers of Lewes and the patrons of the Lewes Arms pub dance - in a circle - around one person in the middle, who attempts to lob a dishcloth at them as they dance around. The earliest definitely known game of Dwile Flonking was played at the Beccles Festival of Sport in 1966. www.lewesarms.org.uk
8. Stilton Cheese Rolling, May 3, Stilton Cambridgeshire – Every May Day, hundreds of villagers and visitors make their way to the main street to watch the teams battling for the honour of being called the 'Stilton Cheese Rolling Champions'. Download application forms to join in this year at www.stilton.org
British Open Crabbing Championship, August, Walberswick Suffolk – Pay one pound and be one of the 1000 people who take part in the British Open Crabbing championship Over a 90 minute period, and armed only with a single line and bait, the person landing the single heaviest crab wins. Many entrants use bait made to a closely guarded secret, and competition is intense! www.walberswick.ws
Shrovetide Football Game, Shrove Tuesday, Alnwick Northumberland – once upon a time many parishes in the north of England, on Shrove Tuesday each year, played a great game of “mob football”. At Alnwick, the tradition has survived. The earliest description of the game is from 1762, describing how, at 2pm, a football was thrown over the castle wall to the populace. www.visitnorthumberland.com
For further information on the awards, please visit www.enjoyengland.com/whereelse
Full details will also be available in The Sun on 24th April
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For further press information contact:
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Stephanie Boyle / Sarah Long, VisitEngland: Stephanie.Boyle@visitengland.org / 020 7578 1446 Sarah.Long@visitengland.org / 020 7578 1452
§ *The ‘Where Else But England’ public vote has a Facebook page and a Twitter page. Find out the results of the award at www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com @whereelsebut
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