Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gumstool Hill woolsack races

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
Gumstool Hill woolsack races at Tetbury, Cotswolds, UK

The town of Tetbury, England leaps into festive action today when relay teams of four run carrying 27 kilo (60 lb) -- 15 kilos (35 lb) for women – woolsack to the crown of Gumstool Hill -- and back down again. The gradient of Gumstool is about 1 in 4, which is steep enough to raise a sweat. When it began in the 17th Century, this race was run between the Royal Oak and the Crown pubs. Tetbury was once an important producer of wool, and no doubt the race was originally run as a way for men in that industry to show off their prowess. These and other Cotswold district games are part of the rich folkloric customs of Whitsuntide, the time around the Christian feast day of Pentecost.

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