Poulters' Pancake Races, Guildhall Yard

Tuesday 28th February 2017

Always a fun part of the Livery calendar, our Company was represented this year by myself, Renter Warden Roger Brookes; Liveryman Martine Petetin; and Elise Rasmussen; managed by the able Clerk Sandra, and cheered on to partial victory by the Mistress; Senior Warden Ralph Edmonson and wife Maureen, and for a time Jerry Merton, our nominated Fourth Warden elect. Ralph also became Photographer in Chief bringing a superb camera to the event and took all of these views with the downside that he's not in any of them of course! Meeting at SLJ's which is very convenient for this event, we were able to change into our aprons, running shoes and chefs hats in peace and add sellotape to the hat which was never going to last the course. The racing was due to begin at 12pm and so, gathered in front of the Guildhall Museum and Art Gallery, the Course Master spoke briefly before introducing the Lord Mayor who was there in full fig and gave an amusing and short address before setting off a starting gun (which nearly floored us all) to announce the formal start. Elise was running in the novelty race - the costumes for which must reflect the Lord Mayor's charities. Needless to say, a lot of mad musicians etc turned up, but Elise trumped the lot of them by arriving as a full organ, complete with pipes, stops and pedals!!! There were some also-ran attempts along a similar theme but nothing could touch her and, when the parade of novelties were called fourth for an inspection it came as no surprise to us when she was announced as the winner! Well done Elise!! I wish the same could be said for the rest of us.. I was up first but came a close second but was relieved to at least finish this year; Roger was pipped by one of the Young Freemen and Martine would have won the most elegantly run race had that been a category, but also lost out, so it was Elise who saved the day - huzzar indeed! Incredibly she didn't come last in her heat either - as her hands couldn't actually touch and she could hardly see, it was very satisfying to see her soundly beat the chap in lane 5. With the racing concluded, we changed back into humans at SLJ's and went to dine in the buffet underneath Guildhall where Mark Grove had provided a tasty and warming lunch. The soup was served in special commemorative mugs and there was plenty of wine to keep us going. As workers, Roger and I split the party and wended our way back to a more hum drum afternoon - the morning had remained fine, clear and sunny, as I rode home it began to rain and the wind picked up, so we were lucky in many ways this morning. Thank you Poulters', it was - as ever - good fun.