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Egremont Crab-Apple Fair


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Egremont in Cumbria claims to have held its fair every year since its charter was granted in 1267 (except for during the two world wars). The day, the Saturday nearest 18 October, is a series of events rather than a continuous fair, starting with a greasy pole which locals are invited to climb to claim the joint of meat (or money) fixed to the top. Later in the morning a lorry is driven round the streets while men throw apples to the crowd—they used to be crab-apples, but more edible varieties are now distributed—and during the day there are children's races, wrestling, dog races and shows, and much else. The evening includes bizarre events such as a pipe-smoking contest, sentimental song singing competition, and what they claim to be the World Champion Gurning Competition.Shuel, 1985: 14–16; Kightly, 1986: 98–9; Sykes, 1977: 125–6.


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