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Westminster School Pancake Greaze


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A unique custom which takes place every Shrove Tuesday at Westminster School, London. The school cook makes a substantial pancake which he takes in a frying-pan to the school hall, and tosses over an iron bar which runs across the room, about twenty feet above ground. In a mad scramble, representatives from each form in the school try to grab hold of a piece of the pancake, and whoever succeeds in getting the largest piece wins a guinea from the Dean of the school. The custom has been in existence since at least the mid-18th century when Jeremy Bentham mentioned it, and William Hone (1827: 130) quotes a 1790 reference. Fancy dress for participants is now common.

Shuel, 1985: 151–2;H. Barton Baker, The Graphic (3 Feb. 1894), 130;Stone, 1906: 85–8;Thomas Staveley Oldham, Strand Magazine 12 (1896), 186–96.


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