Shrove Tuesday: Three Races

I don’t think I’ve previously photographed four baronesses in the same picture, but the problem with the Pancake Race at the Houses of Parliament was that visually it wasn’t very exciting. So though a caption like “Lord Morris of Manchester, Lord and Lady Dholakia, Baroness Northover, Anne Begg MP, Baroness Garden of Frognal, Baroness Walnesley, Lord Addington” may be great for name-dropping (and would have presented a horrible problem if they hadn’t all been wearing numbers), I can assure you the caption is better than the picture. Despite all these high-powered contestants, I’m pleased to report that it was the media team that won the day.

Over from Westminster to the City of London, and visually things were getting better:

Although I couldn’t quite get this how I wanted it, there is certainly a touch of the surreal, and the Lord Mayor, Chief Commoner and various guilds were having a bit of fairly quiet fun, though the miniature cannon used to start the races was surprisingly loud. This historic event is now in its fifth year and is the Poulters’ Company Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race; they supply the eggs, while the Fruiterers bring lemons, the clockmakers time things, and the glovers supply gloves, though I don’t think anyone wore them. The gun was of course from the Gunmakers, and my only disappointment was that the forks provided by the Cutlers to eat the pancakes were only plastic. In the City I expect silver.

Tossing is easier when you can simply make the pancake levitate with your superpower

I was also worried about where or who the flour and milk for the pancakes might have come from. But further down the road and the social scale in Spitalfields things were clearer, with one of the 15 or so teams of four competing for the prize in the ‘Great Spitalfields Pancake Race’ consisting of four young women clearly labelled flour, milk, egg and lemon. This event is organised by Alternative Arts and the teams taking part seem to be students and young professionals from the many small businesses in the area. Despite one team boasting superpowers in the persons of Superwoman and Batwoman, it was a team from one of these with the sinister name of Execution that won the day.

All this and more of course on My London Diary.

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