However, despite all that, the festival itself was very good, with some excellent beers on. But there was a more serious hue to the day’s proceedings. Life’s not all beer and boules. Yes, it was the second World Black Pudding Eating Championship. This prestigious competition had attracted a hardy band of entrants, all wishing to their bit for charity.
The rules are simple: eat as many black puddings as you can in one hour. Without being sick. Vomiting during the contest leads to disqualification and there were buckets on hand for those who needed them. Eddie, the eager, legal beagle had previously scoffed at the apparent inability of people to er, scoff, more. But seeing it in the flesh, he revised his opinion. The target to beat was 10, which last year’s winner, Martin Brimelow, had set.
Everyone had their own technique and band of supporters to spur them on. Although I got the impression that some people weren’t taking it seriously enough and were merely waiting to film the vomiting for YouTube. The great thing about this sport is that it’s one of the very few where women and men can compete on an equal basis. Not that many women seem daft enough to want to try.
It all started well enough. The general consensus was that as it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain that it’s full, it’s best to get as many down as you can early on. It didn’t take too long before the first hand went up for the bucket and five seemed to be the limit for most entrants. Local legend Mick Edwards seemed to be going well after polishing off 6 but was soon signalling for assistance.
Realistically there was only ever going to be one winner and Martin proved a worthy one, setting a new record of 11. And even he was sick, although, crucially, after the contest. Then it was back to the drinking and as the night wore on, the wickets began to change. Brewers Gold morphed into Leeds Pale and much later I discovered Cheddar Valley had magically become Old Rosie. An excellent day out and good to see Bury taking the lead in extreme sports.