“WEIRD BRITISH SPORTS”. My post yesterday was based on a memory stirred by this illustrated article on the Telegraph Expat site. My interest in all sports persists. I have posted a number of times about sports that have developed spontaneously—wife carrying, Irish road bowling, and croquet in a busy farmyard, a game we invented when we were young.

Particularly appealing to me are competitions which were invented long ago. The pancake race (#3) goes back to 1445. The “gurning” competition (#24), which involves making grotesque faces, goes back to 1267. I like the race in which a heavy woolsack is carried (#11) because it not only goes back to the 17th century but also reflects the importance of woolsacks in British economic history.

I also find appealing competitions which originated in a discussion in a pub. The annual Man vs. Horse Marathon (#15) in Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales began in June 1980 following a conversation in the bar of the Neuadd Arms Hotel.

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