Probably just as well for Her Majesty that she doesn’t have to wash the feet of old beggars*. I saw her at York Minster one Maundy Thursday. I was disappointed because
she was tiny and didn’t wear a crown! [it was 1972]. Nonetheless, I still love traditions – the older and dafter the better. Who wouldn’t like a reigning Monarch giving weird bags of coins to pensioners?
*James II was the last to do the feet-washing thing.
I love living in a country where the Speaker of the House of Lords (The Lord Chancellor) has to sit on The Woolsack to be reminded where or wealth comes from – an ordinance dating from the 14th century.
But it’s not all might and majesty that delights me. How about Football-in-a-River ? This takes place on August Bank Holiday Monday in Bourton on the Water
Gloucestershire. It is not ancient ( seven decades or so) but the no-rules-at-all madness which is The Haxey Hood has
happened erupted every Plough Monday for over seven centuries in Lincolnshire. It involves a Lord, a Fool, eleven Boggins and The Sway – what is not to love?
Then there’s Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire (again). Video below by The Maccabees
Nearer to where I live there’s the Bramble Bank Cricket Match.
As the victors play host to the post-match celebrations, it helps if the winners are prearranged, and so they are: the ISC win in even years and the RSYC in odd ones. Match-fixing in cricket is alive and well. In 2012, the combination of a strong south-westerly wind and a low tide that really wasn’t especially low meant that there was some doubt about whether the sea would recede entirely from the bank. This photograph shows players from the ISC having just taken the, er, field. Cricket’s favourite admiral – for complex reasons, scores of 111, 222, 333 etc. are known as “Nelson”, “double Nelson”, “triple Nelson”, etc. – watches from the (forgive me) deep.
(This song always brings tear to my eyes – thank you The Unthanks!)