Indoor Pancake Race Doesn’t Spoil Our Fun!

Wimborne Minster Pancake Race was flipping good fun this year!

On an increasingly damp and wet morning large crowds began assembling for the 26th Annual Wimborne Minster Pancake Race on Shrove Tuesday morning 13th February. For the fourth year in succession and only the fifth time since the race was relaunched in 1998 the weather drove both contestants and supporters inside the ancient Minster.

“The event took place during half-term”, said Anthony Oliver who with a small group organises this fun annual event and we were not sure how many runners would turn up. In the event there were nearly 100 entrants from the very young right through all school ages to Adults and those in Wheelchairs.

Racing started as the Pancake Bell was tolled with the Toddlers running down the centre of the Nave. The Toddlers winner was Gino Earl who won £5.00. For the remainder of the races competitors ran round the inside of the Minster. The Reception School age winner was Agnes Stickley who won £10.00.  Next up was the Middle School age runners with the winner Harrison Homer receiving £10.00. Then  came the Upper School age runners with the winner being Esther Davey, one of the Minsters Head Choristers and daughter of the Organist and Director of Choirs Colin Davey who himself ran in the Adult Races. Esther also received £10.00.

Wheelchair racing followed with contestants being pushed up and down the centre of the Nave on a timed basis. The winner was Jean Sibley pushed by Charlotte Sloyn from Burwood Nursing Home in Broadstone. They covered the course in 13.36 seconds! Jean won for the Nursing Home a large sack of Wild Bird Food kindly donated by the Wimborne Pet Centre. Other participants came from Streets Meadow and Hyacinth House. Late comers also came from Aranlaw House Care Home in Poole and they enjoyed a race all on their own followed by a picnic in the Minster which they thoroughly enjoyed.

Finally came the Adult racing and there were 40 competitors lead by the Rector himself, the Revd Canon Andrew Rowland and Colin Davey who said he couldn’t beat his ‘boss’! Amongst others usual contestants came from the Teachers Building Society, MJP Law and Savills. All ran on an individual timed basis with the final winner, Charlotte Kersey being declared the Minster Pancake Champion 2024. She covered the course in 11.03 seconds. She was  one of a group of friends who ran and who were from Canford School. Charlotte was presented with the John Loader Memorial Cup, the first time it has been won by a female, by Kathy and Martyn Curtler. She retains this for a year. Charlotte was also presented with a set of four very pretty mugs in the William Morris design  to keep from Marilyn Barber, News Editor on behalf of the Viewpoint and Dorset View Magazines. Two participants were joint second, Yi Zhou from Teachers Building Society and Will Lowbridge, one of the group of friends from Canford School. They covered the course in 11.37 seconds and both  received a voucher from No 9 On the Minster Green.

The Town Mayor Cllr Mrs Diann March was present with Town Crier of Wareham Jacquie Hall standing in for Chris Brown Wimborne Minsters Town Crier who was away. They started off the all the races. Claire Lehmann the Minsters Families worker set up a refreshment table in St Georges Chapel during the racing and 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 race.

Anthony Oliver, on behalf of the organising team 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. He  thanked his Organising Team and all those who helped in any way including the Mayor, the Town Crier of Wareham, those with the Registration of the Entries, Stewarding, Collecting, Ringing the Pancake Bell, manning the First Aid in case of need for all their support of this community event which attracts so much interest. A collection taken for Minster Funds raised £186 91 and we just hope for better weather next year when the date will be Tuesday 4th March 2025.

Thanks so much to Tom Scrase for allowing us to use his wonderful photos.

Photo by Tom Scrase
Photo by Tom Scrase