For only the fourth time since the Wimborne Minster Pancake Race was revived in 1998 it had to take place inside the Minster on Shrove Tuesday 21st
February as it was deemed that the flagstones outside were too slippery after the early morning fine drizzle.
This did not stop a good number of people attending to cheer on those taking part! There were over 100 participants and when the races are held inside the Adults in particular run individually on a timed basis. There were 27 adults including members of staff from MJP Law, Teachers Building Society, Mums of pupils from Dumpton School, The Minsters Rector the Revd Canon Andrew Rowland and the Curate the Revd Nick Wells and even a visitor from the north of England, Paul Gerrard, who was on holiday in the area but ran in the race some twenty years ago when he worked locally for Fire Radio. Another adult runner was Scott Taylor last year’s winner but he and all the others were beaten by Matthew James, a Postman from Ferndown who ran the course in 11.27sec. Second placed was Craig Kellaway with third Connor-Lee Morgan. Matthew received the John Loader Memorial Cup from Kathy and Martyn Curtler to hold for a year and a Pizza Plate and Cutter from Dorset View/Viewpoint Magazine presented by Marilyn Barber the News Editor to retain.
Four local schools participated Castle Court, twenty-one runners with the winner being Freddie Crampton, Dumpton, twenty-five runners with the winner being Percy Garside, Wimborne First, four runners with the winner being Lenny Groves and St. Michaels Middle, eight runners the winner being Chloe Crigsby. The new head Teacher of St. Michaels Darren Ayling ran in the Adult Races.
Over twenty Toddlers took part, many from the Tops Day Nursey and then there were the Wheelchair entries from Streets Meadow. Due to space restrictions the four entries were pushed up and down the centre of the nave on a timed basis. The winner was Irene who won a large sack of wild bird food for Streets Meadow which had been kindly donated by the Wimborne Pet Centre.
The Town Mayor Cllr Carol Butter was present as was the Town Crier Chris Brown and Deputy Mel Gudger who started off all the races. Number 9 On the Green in Cook Row provided Pancakes to be purchased both before and after the races and also assisted with the sponsorship of the schools races.
A collection taken for Minster Funds raised £174.58. All the Participants received a Special Certificate to mark the fact that they had taken part in the 25th Pancake Race, the Certificate kindly prepared by Claire Lehmann, the Minsters Families Worker.
Anthony Oliver who along with a small team organises the annual race said afterwards, that in spite of having to hold the event inside the Minster we had an enjoyable morning and there were a lot of smiling faces. Let’s hope for better weather next year when Shrove Tuesday falls on 13th February 2024 so get into training in good time. Anthony also thanked his Organising
Team and all those who had helped in any way including the Mayor, Town Crier and Deputy, those with the Registration of the Entries, Stewarding, Collecting, setting up the Public Address, Ringing the Pancake Bell and manning the First Aid in case of need.
PHOTOS: The Group pic depicts the Winner Matthew James receiving the John Loader Memorial Trophy from Kathy Curtler and on the right Martyn Curtler. Curate Revd Nick Wells (on the left) is holding the Pizza Plate which Matthew also won. Also in the Pic (from the Left) Mel Gudger, The Mayor, Anthony Oliver, Chris Brown and the Rector.
The Wheel Chair Entries from Streets Meadow with their sack of Wild Bird Food.