Pancakes galore as children run rings round Askrigg church

Children from Askrigg brave the rain for a traditional Pancake Day race around the church. Photo: Heather Hodgson

By Betsy Everett

Children from Askrigg and Low Abbotside ran races around the ancient church of St Oswald’s to mark Shrove Tuesday.

Armed with frying pans, they lined up in age groups to take it in turns to run the gauntlet, flipping pancakes as they negotiated the cobbles and a tricky church stile.

Thirteen children took part, all eager to win a bag of chocolate coins for their efforts, and to scoff their pancake afterwards.

Said one hardy Dales participant: “I fell over once and dropped my pancake five times, but I still ate it at the end, even though it was a bit muddy.”

The event was co-ordinated by the Askrigg children’s sports committee and takes place each year, whatever the weather.

Their next event is the annual village sports day on spring bank holiday, May 29, and includes races, a fancy dress parade, barbecue and a traditional bread and treacle eating competition.

Pancake Day in another part of the Upper Wensleydale Benefice, St Matthew’s Church, Stalling Busk, was a rather more sedate affair, but with plenty of guests making their way to the Raydale hamlet above Semerwater, including residents, walkers – and a couple doing a survey on water quality.

Donations were invited for the the children of war-torn Syria, a long way in miles but not in spirit from the tiny Dales church.

Miriam Cloughton has her hands full at St Matthew’s Church, Stalling Busk.