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The Derby

The annual race for the "Derby" at Epsom race-course in Surrey is perhaps the most famous single sporting event in the whole world. The day is almost a public holiday. It is Derby Day (it takes place in the first week in June) and, attended by an army of bookmakers to record their bets, of gipsies ready to tell their fortunes, and side-show proprietors to provide amusement during the hours of waiting, thousands flock to the course, many of them apparently not at all worried about whether or not they see the race that is the excuse for all the excitement. Of those who stay away, the majority, even of those who do not gamble habitually, will do so in a small way on Derby Day. Every office, club, shop and factory will run its Derby sweepstake, which you enter in the hope that you will draw the name of the winning horse out of a hat and thus win all the money contributed by the various competitors.

(Pattern of England by C. E. Eckersley and L. C. B. Seaman)

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