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In pictures: Rolling with laughter at the Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races





More than 1,000 people turned out to watch the funniest sporting event of the season: Grantchester’s Boxing Day barrel-rolling races.

Teams of four from pubs in the village battled to win the frantic races, pushing wooden barrels along a 100-yard relay course through the village while spectators lined the streets, protected only by hay bales.

Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell

The event kicked off at noon with teams from The Red Lion, The Blue Ball, The Rupert Brooke and The Green Man pubs taking part in the run down Coton Road.

Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell

One of the organisers, Francis Burkitt, 58, a canon of Ely Cathedral and a member of the winning team in the men’s race, said: “We were very lucky with the weather as it was beautiful and sunny.

“Hundreds of people streamed across the meadows from the city to come and watch, so there was a great atmosphere and I’m sure the pubs did a roaring trade afterwards, The only rule is that there must be absolutely no training for the event,” he said.

“Any team caught training is immediately disqualified. However, it seems that teams with rowers as members do seem to have a distinct advantage, perhaps because of their upper body strength.”

Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell
Grantchester Boxing Day barrel-rolling races. Picture: Keith Heppell

The winners were: Men – The Red Lion Roarers; Ladies – Annabelle’s Angels, from the Rupert Brooke pub; Family and Friends – Coton Cousins, from The Rupert Brooke; Next Generation (aged 16 to 25) – West Enders from The Green Man.

And in the Honoured Guests section – featuring the only teams allowed without a link to Grantchester – the winners were Foxcotte, from Barton, a team supported by The Blue Ball pub. A bucket collection raised £1100 for the Grantchester Village Trust Appeal.



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