Pancake races are flipping marvellous

Argy bargy in the pancake races. (GL1005/03b)
Argy bargy in the pancake races. (GL1005/03b)
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Crowds have gathered in Ripon to watch and take part in the city’s annual pancake races along the historic street of Kirkgate.

The Lenten Bell rang out 40 times on Shrove Tuesday at 11am to signal the start of festivities with competitors racing from the front of Ripon Cathedral.

Coun Bernard Bateman, of Ripon Festivals, which organised the races, said: “This is the 26th year Ripon Festivals have organised this event.”

Among those taking part for the first time was the Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson, who was installed in the post in June.

He said: “It was wonderful to be part of such a joyful event that brought together people of all ages from Ripon and further afield.

“The sunshine helped and so did the great community spirit and the smiles on so many faces. The spirit of partnership was just what Ripon needs – a great day for Ripon.”

Cooking pancakes for those taking part in the races were members of Ripon’s 21 Engineer Regiment, who set up a field kitchen in front of the cathedral. The event was marshalled by members of the Rotary Club of Ripon Rowels, while all participants received a certificate and easter egg donated by Hemingways Marketing Services in Ripon.