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28 October 2014
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Food and drink


Oddie Olsen from Norway (Photo by Phil Taylor)
Pudding power: Norway's Oddie Olsen

The Prince of Puddings

Forget cheese rolling and worm charming – events don’t get any weirder than The World Black Pudding Throwing Championship, held each year in Greater Manchester.


Fact File

  • Ingredients: cooked pigs' blood, fat and rusk in a length of intestine
  • A competition pudding weighs 6oz
  • The aim is to dislodge as many Yorkshire puddings as possible
  • Contestants must throw underarm
  • The event is based on traditional Lancashire/Yorkshire rivalry
  • Thrown puddings are swaddled in ladies’ tights!
  • Puddings are made by the Bury Black Pudding Co.

The bizarre contest celebrates the ancient rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire and attracts people from far away as Australia to the small town of Ramsbottom.

Contestants gathered at at the Royal Oak pub to throw black puddings at a stack of Yorkshire puddings piled on a plinth 20ft off the ground.

2004 Champion John Burns (Photo by Phil Taylor)
Champion chucker: John Burns

The rules: You can throw three competition standard 6oz puddings - underarm only. Whoever fells the most Yorkshire puddings is the winner.

And the 2004 Prince of Puddings? Champion chucker John Burns who dislodged seven puddings of the Yorkshire variety

John, a 33-year-old management trainer from nearby Edenfield, picked up the £100 prize - which he donated to the Stubbins Community Trust - and a kiss from his wife Karen.

As John explains, it's all come as a bit of surprise finding himself crown World Champion.

 "My wife had a friend staying for the weekend so we thought we'd go down and have a laugh. It was a pound to enter, so I thought I'd have a go - and I won!"

"It feels a bit ridiculous to be honest. I'm getting a lot of stick at work - they all think it's hilarious. I keep saying it's not going to change me, though!"

John Maude eats a pudding (Photo by Phil Taylor)
Proof of the pudding: John Maude, 79

It's the second year the contest has been held in Ramsbottom and it's proving to be a lucky home venue for Lancastrians. On both occasions, a local man has won following a period of domination by the Australians.

The event used to be held at the Corner Pin pub in nearby Stubbins but when it was threatened with closure Bury Council stepped in to save the event, moving it to Ramsbottom.

This year's contest began with the ‘piping in’ of the Golden Grid down Bridge Street - the grid marks the very spot where contestants used to stand at the former site.

Legend has it that the contest is based on an incident during the Wars of the Roses when both armies ran out of ammunition and threw food at each other.

Royal Oak landlord Stuart Law said: "It's been another great day. We've had loads of people here and they've had a great time."

last updated: 15/09/04
Have Your Say

Mary Chadwick
As the owner of Chadwicks Original Bury Black Puddings I can assure you that they are Bury Black Puddings made by the only Bury Black Pudding manufacturers in the world.

Phil Taylor
Yes, Bury Black Puddings from Chadwicks. Special competition weight, swaddled in ladies tights.

The Gobby Lancastrian
They better have been Bury Black Puddings, can't picture them being anything else though we are fiercely proud of our culture in these here parts.

Chris
Were they Bury black puddings?

Mike (USA)
I'll be there next year. Sounds like fun!

Rachel
What a daft idea! But hey, having fun and will keep you young ;)

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