Black Pudding

I'm from a small town in the North, it's not an unusual place really; we have a lovely butcher, lots of family run shops and tearooms and then there’s one of it’s most famous annual events, the World Black Pudding Throwing Championship… I kid you not.

From being young I remember going down to the main street (I shan’t call it a high street!) and watching people lob black puddings at Yorkshire puddings stacked onto a 20ft-raised plinth. The aim is to knock as many off the platform as possible. Each year the 'golden grid' of Yorkshire puddings is transported to Ramsbottom on a steam-hauled train, and then laid down to the accompaniment of Scottish bagpipes. As a kid we would watch all the ‘professional’ until someone was crowned a winner and then watch our neighbours and other locals have a go.

If I remember rightly, the event has its roots in the historic rivalry of the Houses of York and Lancaster in the 15th century - The War of the Roses; it was said that the adversaries had food fights when ammunition ran out. I did some more research, and it turns out the first recorded result at the competition was in 1839 but the event became a 'world championship' in 1984 – pretty good going for a weird tradition in a northern steam engine town!

It was only when I left the confines of the North West I began to realise this wasn’t something normal, but hey ho, who wants normal!! Trying to describe the event to people unaccustomed, not only other northerners but also people from ‘the south’, was hard work without looking a bit mad.

Here it is though, for all of you guys! I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me if I said hundreds of people actually attend, hundreds! If you ever find yourself free on a quiet Sunday in September make sure you look it up next year. Entry is only £3.

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