Take some flour, eggs and milk and whisk to combine. Add representatives from the 110 City of London Livery Companies. Sprinkle liberally with puns on the word “Tosser” and chill in the Guildhall yard for an hour. The perfect recipe for the City of London’s Inter-Livery Pancake Race.
Court Assistant Leigh Dargan Captained a team from the WCHCD comprising
Master Alan Roughan in the Masters Race
Liveryman Lorenzo Bugliari-Goggia in the Liverymen’s Race
Freeman Hannah Downing in the Ladies’ Race
And Deputy Master Colin Evans in the Novelty Race
This colourful event, which includes competitors running in their regalia and/or fancy dress, was inaugurated in 2004 by The Worshipful Company of Poulters and took place, under their Stewardship as usual, on Shrove Tuesday, 28 February 2017.
The original participants were Livery companies in some way associated with the making of pancakes with invited teams from the Mansion House and Guildhall. This event is now a staple of the City calendar; taking place annually in Guildhall yard at midday on Shrove Tuesday by kind permission of the Chief Commoner.
Traditionally the Gunmakers start each heat with a bang; the Clerk to the Clockmakers is responsible for the accuracy of the timing; the Fruiterers provide lemons; the Cutlers plastic forks; the Glovers white gloves worn by each runner; and the Poulters the eggs essential in the making of the pancakes.
Any surplus funds from the event and pancake sales are donated by the joint organizers – the Poulters’ Company and ‘The Cook and The Butler’ – to the Lord Mayor‘s Charity.
A couple of nasty falls around the turn drew gasps from the crowd but weren’t serious enough to trouble the Stewards. Although one runner damaged an arm and a few ribs, mercifully all the runners made it across the finish line without the green screens being called for.
Alan and Hannah won their respective heats and came close in their finals. But to the Victors went the spoils, in this instance frying pans awarded to the winners of each class final. The Masters’ Race – The Marketors; Liverymen’s Race – The Tylers and Bricklayers; Ladies’ Race – The Insurers; and Novelty Race – The Tylers and Bricklayers – with the overall winner or “Victor Ludorum” being the Liveryman from the Tylers and Bricklayers. The Tobacco Pipemakers and Tobacco Blenders bagged the prize for the best costume with their impressive “Pipe” Organ.
A welcome cup of hot soup greeted diners for the buffet luncheon, served in the Crypt of the Guildhall, which gave participants and observers a chance to reflect and scrutinize their tactics in readiness for next year’s race.