By indexer
23 days ago

The World Black Pudding Throwing Championships

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You can be a world champion in many different ways these days. Perhaps one of the more unusual world titles that might come your way is that of World Black Pudding Thrower.

Ramsbottom’s day of glory

The event is held in September every year at the Royal Oak pub in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, England. Ramsbottom is one of the myriad of small towns that are strung along the valleys north of Manchester and were once the centre of Britain’s cotton spinning and cloth-making industry.

The black pudding is a traditional Lancashire delicacy (if that is the right word) consisting mainly of pig’s blood, oatmeal, onions and pork fat. Ramsbottom is a centre of black pudding making, and the town is therefore very proud of its heritage.

But why throw them? And at what?

The answer to the latter question helps to answer the first. The target for the black puddings is Yorkshire puddings, which are very different beasties, being made from flour, eggs and milk. However, it is the “Yorkshire” that is probably more significant here than the “pudding”.

Ever since the Wars of the Roses of the 15th century, which pitted the House of York against the House of Lancaster, the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, either side of the Pennine Hills, have been rivals. This rivalry has been contested most fiercely on the cricket field, but the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships offers a fresh opportunity. If you are going to hurl Lancashire’s finest at something, why not Yorkshire’s paltry (they would say) offering?

The event attracts competitors from all over the world – probably even Yorkshire. Typically, several hundred people turn up to try their hand at lobbing black puddings at piles of Yorkshires.

There are strict rules, as one might expect. The black puddings are specially made for the competition at a regulation weight of 170 grams and are wrapped in pantyhose to prevent them from disintegrating when thrown. Likewise, the Yorkshires must be of a consistent consistency, which can mean changing them frequently if the weather is wet when the event takes place. A soggy Yorkshire is more difficult to displace than a crisp one.

Another strict rule is that all throws must be underarm, although various techniques can be employed. Expert throwers have devised all sorts of spins and trajectories to achieve maximum devastation of Yorkshires.

Championship day

The event is carried out with considerable celebration. Just down the road from the pub is Ramsbottom station on the preserved East Lancashire Railway. The “golden grid”, which is the “oche” from which throwers take their aim, is transported to Ramsbottom on a steam-hauled train and then borne aloft to the Royal Oak to the accompaniment of Scottish bagpipes.

Other amusements take place during the somewhat lengthy event, including a separate children’s championship and a one-day music festival that is imaginatively entitled “Pudstock”.

At the end of the day the dislodgers of the most Yorkshires, senior and junior, are declared World Champions and everyone goes home happy, having probably drunk the pub dry in the meantime.

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Explorer2017 This is indeed unusual kind of event for competition
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indexer @Explorer2017 We Brits do some extremely odd things for fun!
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tjkhan Seems like fun
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soncee Very nice friend 💜
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faithfilia Nice article
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arthurchappell What a waste of a great food. I love black puddings. There was an episode of a comedy show called The Goodies that centred on the martial art of fighting with black puddings, known as Ecky Thump
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indexer @arthurchappell I'm not aware of a black pudding shortage at such times!
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jessabumagat20 Such a unique kind of competition..
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indexer @jessabumagat20 Typical British eccentricity!
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jessabumagat20 @indexer yes .. thanks for sharing
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