On Shrove Tuesday the only place to be at lunchtime is Guildhall Yard for the Inter Livery Pancake Races. So, on March 5, our quartet of athletic flippers donned livery gown, apron, chef’s hat and gloves to join 29 other livery teams to compete for the coveted Frying Pan trophy.
The Marketors competing this year were Master Andrew Cross (Masters’ Race), Liveryman Alex Conabeare (Liverymen’s Race), Laura Giffard (Ladies’ Race) and Liveryman Martin Ashton (Novelty Race). Junior Warden Trevor Brignall also participated in the Masters’ Race, as President of the City Livery Club.
The rules are that you have to run two lengths of the yard and toss your pancake once on the outward leg and once on the return. Pancakes needs to be flipped at least 30 centimetres in the air. The other unwritten rules are that you have to possess a fiercely competitive streak as well as a sense of fun.
As our team limbered up in preparation for their respective heats, they were joined by Past Master Sally Muggeridge, Senior Warden Lesley Wilson, the Clerk John Hammond, the Beadle James Hasler, Court Assistant Keith Rowland and Court Assistant Carole Seawert.
Alex Conabeare triumphed in his heat, earning him a place in the final, where he came third. But, sadly, no-one won any trophies this year. Undeterred, the team headed off to Guildhall with the other competitors to enjoy an amiable lunch.
If you haven’t seen the pancake races in Guildhall Yard, make a note to visit next year as it’s a colourful and entertaining affair. The Gunmakers start the races by firing their mini cannon, the Clockmakers record the race times, the Poulters (who sponsor the occasion) provide the eggs for the pancakes and the Fruiterers provide the lemon. All proceeds from the day are donated to the Lord Mayor’s charities.
Anyone who would like to register early interest in competing in the 2020 races should contact our Clerk. It’s never too early to start practising your 30cm flips.