Episode 40- The World Black Pudding Tossing Competition

The World Black Pudding Lobbing Championships is guaranteed unlike any other competition on the planet.

Every year hundreds of people from across the globe invade Ramsbottom, Lancashire, for the opportunity to lob Black Puddings placed inside a woman’s stocking at a pile of Yorkshire Pudding 7.5 metres high atop the city attempting to knock them down. Yes, this is a real competition and it actually is all for a good cause.

The tradition of Black Pudding lobbing actually dates back several centuries, some say as far back as the War of the Roses (no, not the Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito film. The actual historical War of the Roses in the 15th century). The World Championships were born and a resurgence, if you will, as a result of a brilliant idea from Jimmy Cunliffe, the creator and organizer of the event.  The competition was conceived as a unique way to raise funds to support local children’s charities and consequently a sensation was born.

Now several years in, the contest is getting bigger every year. The rules are simple but precise. The puddings must be lobbed. Not tossed or thrown, as you’ll hear Jimmy have to repeatedly correct Luke throughout our interview with him. Clearly, we know which one of us will be disqualified when we make it over there in person one day.

For those who don’t actually know what Black Pudding is or why anyone would want to lob it. As Jimmy describes it, first and foremost it’s a Superfood. Secondly, at its most basic description it’s fried blood. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s fried blood sausage. For some it’s a delicious treat, for some an acquired taste and for others it is worthy of nothing more than chucking it, rather lobbing it at Yorkshire Pudding. Yorkshire Pudding, on the other hand, is airy, doughy and full of butter without an ounce of blood.

So, why the lobbing of one at the other? It seems to harken back to that War of the Roses we mentioned. And what about the stockings? Jimmy explained the ladies’ notions play a pivotal role in the ‘sport’. They keep the game together, if you will. The story goes that in the past organizers and participants found they had a crumbly mess on their hands as the Black Puddings tended to fall apart when thrown. Someone had the brilliant idea to put them in and lob them inside the stocking and changed the game for the masses.

The World Black Pudding Lobbing Championships is held the second Saturday of September annually. If you’re within an easy trek to Lancashire we encourage you to participate, or at the very least spectate! If not, if you’re like most of our listeners, a fiend for the fun and unusual, you may want to plan a jaunt to next year’s event. Check out our interview with Jimmy and Gillian and you may even get some tips on how to destroy the competition. For more information on this and future events visit: https://www.facebook.com/worldblackpudding/

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