Sporting history

some of you, I’m sure, are aware of the ancient and noble British sport of welly wanging, wherein burly macho types, schoolboys, and amply bosomed farmers wives compete to see who can hurl a Wellington boot the furthest. Most assume this sport to have been invented in the time of the eponymous duke of Wellington.

you would, however, be quite quite wrong.

Those who bemoan the current rise of namby-pamby health and safety culture are probably unaware that this phenomenon first raised its irritating head at the time of the iron duke himself, and that he was in fact it’s perpetrator.

You see, for many centuries, millennia even, the favourite sport of the English nation was dragon wanging, with each shire having its own indidual style, favoured type of dragon to wang, and devoted followers. Many would be the hours spent in village ale houses across the land discussing the finer aspects of form and scoring.

Such was the fervour for this sport that bored soldier on the peninsular campaign whiled away the hours with friendly bouts of dragon wanging – a certain Mr sharpe was said to be very good at it. Unfortunately, the wanging of wyrms is not exactly a quiet sport, and on frequent occasions the enemy were alerted to the British position by enthusiastic cheers and the screams of badly burnt spectators. The duke bore this quite cheerfully, having been known to indulge himself upon occasion, but drew the line when a badly aimed dragon accidentally blew up his entire supply of gunpowder. Thence forth he insisted that his men practice with old boots instead of dragons.

due to widespread enthusiasm for the national sport, dragons had become hard to find by that point, not to mention very expensive to purchase at jjb sports, so the old boot idea quickly gained popularity with poorly paid soldiers, who took the new ideas home with them on thier return from war.

here, however, we see an image from the golden days of the sport. Depicted is Alfred higginbotham, 1393 all Yorkshire champion, during his record breaking dragon wanging bout wherein he lobbed a wyrm all the way from ilkley moor to Lancaster town centre, causing Lancaster marketplace to burn down.

The cheering lasted for days. Much old peculiar was drunk. Several sheep were distressingly violated and had to receive extensive counselling.

Alfred became so famous he spent his remaining days touring the country giving exhibitions to his adoring fans.

~ahem~ it’s all true, honest. Would I make this shite up?

a few more twiddly bits finished this section

And im on to the very exciting final roll

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~ by opusanglicanum on June 28, 2017.

17 Responses to “Sporting history”

  1. Need a love button for this one! Smiled all the way through. Thank you, I needed this! Wanging….*snort*

    • Two years ago I sat at an academic food symposium whilst the whole room stifled laughter as Ivan day explained that wang was Cumbrian slang for cheese, and that Cumbrian wants had once been famous for being so hard you could strike a match on them.

      Some of us didn’t stifle our laughter that well…

  2. APPLAUSE! Way to go, Alfred!!!!

  3. Oh, my gosh! That is so funny! Yes, and many autographed were signed…or calligraphed, rather!

  4. That’s brilliant! I do wonder about what the artists were thinking when they drew some of the marginalia.

  5. That was a great start to my day – thank you!

  6. So funny. I loved this. And I’m loving following the progress of your embroidery. Thank you.

  7. Delightfully informative article regarding sporting wyrms!

  8. We throw wellies in Australia too, have not come across it before so I thought it was a local invention! Thanks for the education.

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