BOOK DETAILS

40 Humourous British Traditions

40 Humourous British Traditions

by Julian Worker

ISBN: 9781909220393

Publisher Mirador Publishing

Published in Literature & Fiction/Humor, Literature & Fiction/Historical, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Britain has many well documented, yet strange traditions such as Bog Snorkelling, Bonfire Night, Cheese Rolling and Haxey Hood. This book describes 40 more traditions in a similar vein, all of which are less well known.

Read about Turtle Rinsing in London, Arrow Catching in Staffordshire, and Animal Gambling in the Forest of Dean.

All the stories are distinct and can be read independently; this is a book for the busy individual who has a spare five or ten minutes to discover the secrets of Biscuit Rolling.

Sample Chapter

It’s a little known fact that every turtle that swims up the River Thames past Tower Bridge into the Pool of London becomes the property and responsibility of the monarch. This rule is part of the Common Law of England and dates back to the time of Queen Matilda in the 12th Century.

The Royal Turtle Surveyor has to be notified if a turtle reaches the Pool of London so that the ceremony of Turtle Rinsing can occur. This old procedure involves the Royal Turtle Surveyor, The Royal Turtle Deputy-Surveyor, the Royal Net Bearer, The Royal Water Bagpiper, and the Master of the Hose. From the Tower of London, these five officials proceed towards the turtle in a launch bearing The Royal Standard.

Once the turtle is observed by The Royal Turtle Deputy-Surveyor using a spyglass, the Royal Net Bearer apprehends the creature in a special Turtle net that’s over two hundred years old. Once clear of the water, the turtle in the net is raised to shoulder height. Using a 500-year old hose made from Staffordshire Boar hide, the Master of the Hose sprays the creature for “one round of ye reel,” which is danced by the Royal Turtle Surveyor and The Royal Turtle Deputy-Surveyor. The Royal Water Bagpiper accompanies the dance.

Once the reel is complete, the rinsed turtle is returned to the water. In the past, the turtle was observed swimming vigorously for the open sea; however in recent years they have mainly hung around HMS Belfast waiting for tourists to drop food to them.

Historians believe that the Turtle Rinsing was created because of Matilda’s desire to keep her supporters happy by giving them jobs in the Royal Household that were purely ceremonial in nature. Other such jobs include The Royal Wasp Counter in the Hunting Forests, The Royal Cloud Shape Describer, and the Royal Maker of Cubes from Honey.

Continues...

Excerpted from "40 Humourous British Traditions" by Julian Worker. Copyright © 2013 by Julian Worker. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Julian Worker

Julian Worker

I have written ten books so far. Four relate to travel, two are murders/mysteries, three are creative fiction, and one pays tribute to my pet cat Freddie.

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