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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races

Pancake races often formed part of old-time Shrove Tuesday revelry, and the old custom has survived to this day in a few places. The most famous race takes place at Olney, Buckinghamshire, and is said to date from 1445. The Pancake Bell is rung to summon competitors, and starting time is five minutes before noon. Only women are eligible, and they must wear an apron and head-covering. The course is over a distance of 415 yards, during which the pancake must be tossed three times. The prize is a prayerbook from the vicar and a kiss from the bellringer!

Other Pancake Races are held at Bodiam, Sussex, and North Somercotes, Lincolnshire.

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