The Tetbury Woolsack Races
We've promised to keep you up to date with all our woolly facts and discoveries as we travel the country in search of wool blankets for our store. The Tetbury woolsack races are definitely worth a mention. Taking place on the last bank holiday weekend in May, they are not for the faint hearted.
This uniquely British affair attracts up to 5,000 people to the famous Cotswold village of Tetbury in Gloucestershire. Once one of the most important wool and yarn markets in Britian, Tetbury is a picturesque Cotswold village, well worth a visit. Famed for its beer as much as for its wool, the village puts on a show each year, coupling beer drinking in the local pubs with running up a 1 in 4 gradient hill carrying a sack of wool. Yes, not everyone's cup of tea, but definitely worth a look.
With its origins in the 17th century, the official race has been running for more than 30 years and is even listed in the Guiness Book of Records.
Weighing 60lb (27 kg) for the men's race and 35lb (16 kg) for the women's race, the woolsacks are carried by competitors 240 yds up and down a 1 in 4 gradient from the the Royal Oak pub to the Crown.
On the day of the races, the village puts on a street fair with a variety of stalls, a funfair, music and roving entertainers. As well as keeping an important British tradition alive, the day raises much needed money for local causes.
We wonder if the woolsacks featured in this race are the same specification as the woolsack that Edward III installed in the House of Lords for the Lord High Chancellor to sit on in the fourteenth century. Maybe someone who knows can answer in the comments below.