Poulters' Company 15th Annual Pancake Race

Tuesday 5th March 2019

The Worshipful Company of Poulters initiated the City’s inter-livery pancake race on Shrove Tuesday in 2004. Whilst originally focused on those Livery Companies connected with the making of pancakes the event has grown with this year's event comprised of thirty Livery Company teams of four - a Master, a Liveryman, a Lady Liveryman and a Novelty Entrant. These contestants are pitched against their fellows from the other Companies in a series of heats in which they run much of the length of Guildhall Yard tossing pancakes whilst clad in gowns, aprons, gloves and chef's hats. The times of the contestants are recorded and the top five in each category win a place in a final.

For the Tobacco Pipe Makers this year, I was joined by Third Warden Jerry Merton (Liveryman), the Mistress Sally Brookes (Lady Liveryman) and Assistant Elise Rasmussen (Novelty Entrant). In the case of Elise, she designed and made an excellent representation of the charities being supported by the Lord Mayors's Appeal - Place2Be, OnSide and Samaritans. She and all the other Novelty Entrants were reviewed by the organising Committee along with the Lady Mayoress with the top three most innovative or fun being rewarded with acclaim.

Fine weather (almost like summer!) blessed the occasion which meant that the races were on. The home team made an excellent job of the heats and, in the case of the Liverymen and Masters' races, Jerry and I got through to the respective finals. Outrun and outtossed, the laurels went to other Companies. Our hopes then rested on Elises's entry for best costume in the Novelty Entrants. Alas, despite her wins twice in previous years, she was pipped to the post by a green telephone. At first deflated, the team picked itself up and we reminded ourselves that it was the taking part that counts.