We are proud of being English and proud of being typically eccentrically English too. We enjoy doing typical English activities like Afternoon Tea and walking in the park. Recently we enjoyed a three-generation family weekend taking part in an activity only the English could do. We took part in the World Pooh Sticks Championships 2017! Totally crazy! But great fun!
We traveled down to Oxfordshire in search of Langel’s Common on the outskirts of Witney and parked up near the village’s parish church. A short walk saw us arriving at the field that was home to the championships and we crossed a bridge over the River Windrush.
Fans of the famous Winnie the Pooh children’s books written by AA Milne will know what this is all about. Others might need to check it out on Google. The event is described as one of the country’s quirkiest sports. In reality it requires absolutely no skill whatsoever, the only requirements needed are a sense of fun, a desire to help charities and a big smile.
The championships are run by the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires and they aimed to raise funds for their worldwide Purple4Polio campaign. Each competitor has to drop a coloured stick into the river on the count of three and then rush to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick crosses the finishing line first. Simple really!
We formed a team of four, calling ourselves “The Magnificent Mollies”, we registered our team and waited to collect our sticks from the “Keeper of the Sticks”. We chose to use green sticks and moved on to join the queue of teams awaiting their turn. We had Jude the Undergardener to support us along with Granddaughter Arabella who looked really cool with pink shades on.
We stood waiting and concentrating for the word and in turn dropped our green sticks. We did not do very well at all but enjoyed the fun and laughter and banter with other teams.
We celebrated the adage, “it’s the taking part that counts” by a family high fives after coming close to last in the team event. Then we celebrated again by enjoying a summer picnic on the river bank. A sign highlighted where ducks could be fed, but there were absolutely no ducks there!
While enjoying out picnic we watched the individual event taking place and to illustrate how skillful the sport is, it was won by a 6 year old boy, Daniel.
The team who arrived in their vintage US police car certainly seemed to enjoy their day and left happy and smiling and waving to everyone as they drove off. However, one little person must have arrived home unhappily after discovering they had lost their orange coat.
We had a great time and decided unanimously that we would be back!