Coronavirus: Britain’s strangest events hit by lockdown


People at NudeFest2018


NudeFest2020 hopes to return in September with naked dodgems

Easter and spring holidays mark some of the oldest – and strangest – traditions in England’s eclectic calendar. As the lockout continues, here is a look at some of the more unusual events canceled or postponed due to a coronavirus.

Bottling competition

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Media captionHallaton Bottle Kicking competition is like a rugby scrum

The Hallaton Bottle Kicking competition – a fierce rugby fray of thousands of people in Leicestershire – was canceled on Easter Monday.

Tradition has pitted Hallaton teams against Medbourne’s neighbors to fight beer barrels up the hills to their respective villages.

“The rules are very simple – there are none,” President Phil Allan told the BBC.

“We add … that there is no murder, no gouging or riding a horse with the authorized bottle … it’s actually like a very fierce rugby fray. “

The event also involves the parade of a hare pie which is then “scrambled” or thrown into the crowd.

Allan urged his loyal supporters and fans to stay safe and look forward to next year’s event.

Worm Charm Championships

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Tori Cox


Worm charmers must prove that their liquid preparations are safe by drinking them first

The Blackawton International Festival of Worm Charming was canceled in South Devon on May 1.

“All the verses diligently practice social distancing. Therefore, they asked that they not charm this year, “said the event’s Facebook page.

Normally, about 100 teams of three compete to catch the greatest number of worms from their 1 m (3 ft) patch of grass. But digging is prohibited.

They are allowed to use their own liquid concoctions to tempt the mini-beasts and the favorites include water, beer, sauce and sugar.

“People are trying to simulate the sound of the rain to coax the worms,” ​​said President Steve Thomas. “We had everything from tapping on the floor to musical instruments and a team with a cell phone in each corner of their patch to make noise. “

As part of the day, Old Father Worm transmits his knowledge in the form of “cheaters” and the school children sing “bravo au ver”.


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Media captionNudefest: Inside UK’s naturist festival

The UK’s biggest naturist festival, NudeFest, has been rescheduled from July to cooler September.

He sees around 500 people naked at a campsite near Langport in Somerset.

Rachel Wieck, from NudeFest management, said: “We are a bit disappointed because traditionally NudeFest takes place in June or July.

“But we thought the logical step would be postponed until September. If people have been locked up for weeks or months and may be reluctant to travel abroad, they might think “take off our clothes and go to Somerset”. “

The week of activities is expected to start with naked dodgems, and includes naked bingo, clay pigeon shooting and line dancing.

Obby Oss Festival


Obby Oss is the biggest day on the Padstow calendar

The biggest day on the calendar for the city of Padstow in Cornwall, the Obby Oss festival, was canceled on May 1.

The centuries-old folk custom involves two processions of recreational horses moving through the city accompanied by dancers, drums and accordions.

Black masks and frames adorn two horses – red for the Old Oss and blue for the Blue Ribbon Oss, also known as Peace Oss.

The dance continues all day until, at midnight, the townspeople meet to sing the unique May Song from Padstow.

“The Old Oss and Blue Ribbon Obby Oss games jointly announce, with regret, that the Padstow May Day celebrations for this year will be canceled and will return in 2021,” reported Cornwall Live.

World Egg Throwing Championships

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Teams that drop or break their eggs are out

Swaton Vintage Day and the World Egg Throwing Championships were scheduled to take place in Lincolnshire on June 28.

But President Charles champion announced the news of his “devastating decision” to cancel this year’s show.

The main event sees “throwers” and “catchers” standing 10 m (33 feet) apart and moving away after each successful hit.

The teams that drop or break their egg are eliminated and a final is organized to crown the champion.

The first egg throwing recorded at Swaton took place in 1322.

Shin Shooting Competition


The shin has been disputed in the Cotswolds since 1612

An annual shin stroke contest in the Cotswolds was canceled on May 29, organizers said.

The sport has been held on Dover’s Hill, near Chipping Campden, since 1612.

The shin kick – which is the highlight of the “Olimpick Games” – implies that competitors kick each other after stuffing the legs of their pants with straw.

Competitors wear white coats, representing the traditional shepherd’s blouse, and steel caps are prohibited.

They hold their opponent by the shoulders and strike him repeatedly to try to knock him down.

The judge, known as Stickler, decides the winner on the best of three shots.

Rolling cheese

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Some cheese hunters end up with broken bones

A world famous cheese rolling race in Gloucestershire has also been canceled.

Hundreds of competitors stumble and tumble 200 yards down the 1: 2 slope from Cooper’s Hill to Brockworth in order to break a wheel of cheese.

This unusual event has been celebrated for centuries and is said to have its roots in a pagan festival to celebrate the return of spring.

But a lonely cheese will still make the trip down Cooper’s Hill, according to the organizers.

“According to tradition, a cheese will be rolled by the master of ceremonies Jem Wakeman the morning of the 25,” they posted on Facebook.

However, the group warned people to stay safe by following government advice to stay home.

Maypole Festival

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Media captionOver 100 people are involved in the Maypole festival

In West Yorkshire, organizers of the Maywick Festival in Barwick-in-Elmet have canceled the triennial event.

The tradition implies that more than 100 people shoot down what is one of the tallest masts in England at 27 m (90 feet).

The pole is lowered on Easter Monday, repainted and repaired, and raised again on spring vacation Monday.

The festivities end with a climber climbing the pole to turn the weather vane on top.

“As a village, we have had our share of difficult times over the years, but rest assured that we will go through this ordeal and emerge to organize a fabulous Maypole Day next year,” organizers posted on Facebook.

“Glastonbury Bird Watching”

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Birdfair 2019 got muddy

A large animal show, dubbed “Glastonbury Bird Watching” has been canceled.

Birdfair 2020, to be held at Rutland Water Nature Reserve in August, is a series of exhibitions, conferences and events promoting conservation.

Organizers said the event, which drew more than 24,000 people last year, had raised more than £ 5 million over 31 years and that the cancellation was a “tough decision”.

But they said they were exploring a digital event featuring some of the planned conferences and Birdfair 2021 was already being planned.


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