MANY market towns have traditions which span centuries. In Swadlincote there’s a relatively new event which has already become a tradition.
The annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race on The Delph has become well established as a celebration of South Derbyshire’s community spirit.
On Tuesday March 4, local businesses, sports groups, voluntary groups and just good friends will come together from 11am until 2pm to enjoy the fun-filled activity.
Said Jonathon Little of South Derbyshire District Council’s economic development team: “It’s not only exciting for the competitors; it’s also a good laugh for the audience.
“Some teams have outrageous costumes and it’s not unusual to see pink, blue and purple hair.
“Every year the races produce a riot of colour and a barrel of laughs. This year will be no exception.
“The event sprints off at 11am with pancake races with Belmont Primary School and Fairmeadows Foundation Primary School competing in their houses.
“We hope that these young people will be an important part of the future generation carrying on the tradition.”
Every year The Delph takes on a new configuration as chicanes and straights for sprinting are created. To reflect South Derbyshire’s agricultural heritage, the track is bounded by hay bales.
Mr Little said: “This year we replaced the dreaded spreading station, which was the sticky end for many teams, with a new obstacle that should be a challenge for anyone with a pan in their hands. It’ll test contestants’ abilities to flip, catch and dodge, though not necessarily all at the same time.”
Teams include Timms Solicitors, Sainsbury’s JB Kind Doors, Appleby Wood Turnings, the Keystone Group, the P3 Charity, Tesco Express, Brunel Healthcare and the Mainline Group.
The Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race is also famous for its mascot race.
This year there are more mascots than ever before with such well-loved characters as Buzz from Chameleon School of Construction, Shaun the Sheep from The National Forest Adventure Farm, Ranger Tom from Conkers Discovery Centre and Travelling Tim from East Midlands Airport.
Their opponents will include last year’s winner Billy Brewer from Burton Albion Football Club.
Said Mr Little: “Some teams take it very seriously indeed while others play it for fun. The competition is always exciting. It’s all for the glory of winning the prestigious Golden Pan of Swadlincote trophy and medals for the team. Best of all, proceeds go to Sport Relief.”
Adding to the attractions of Swadlincote this year, for the first time there will be mouth-wateringly delicious pancakes from Crêpe Monsieur on The Delph and at the Café Espresso in Sharpe’s Pottery Museum.
Roberto Gouveia of Café Espresso said: “At Sharpe’s we are inviting people to decorate the pancakes they buy at the café for themselves. It all adds to the fun and makes it a day to remember.”