Landscape (UK)

PANCAKES AT THE READY

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Each year on Shrove Tuesday, the market town of Olney in Buckingham­shire comes to life with the annual pancake race. Local women race wearing an apron and a scarf or hat while flipping pancakes in a frying pan. First establishe­d in 1445, the origins of the tradition are unclear, though one story tells of a housewife who, upon hearing the shriving bell, hurtled to the church still clutching her pan containing a sizzling pancake. After a brief interval during the Second World War, the custom was revived in 1948, when Reverend Canon Ronald Collins found some old photograph­s and called for volunteers. The day now celebrates this colourful link to the town’s rich past.

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