Traditions in the countryside

If you asked anybody in the countryside to list the traditions that are regularly practised in their community you would no doubt be there a long while. From May Pole dancing in Norfolk to Jack in the Green at Hastings, cheese rolling in the Cotswolds to wife carrying in Surrey it is no wonder that Brits are sometimes accused of being a little eccentric. It is these eccentricities however that help to bind us and form the traditions we enjoy every year.

Cheese rolling in the Cotswolds. Image credit: Michael Warren. Available at

Perhaps the most widespread country tradition is the holding of a village or church fete each year. Some are on a bigger scale than others, some serve alcohol, others prefer to stick to cream teas. However, they are united in that they are almost certainly a highlight of the village year and one not to be missed. Invariably run by a team of volunteers this British institution would not take place were it not for a willingness of people to give up (sometimes significant amounts of) their time for the benefit of their friends and neighbours and a good cause. Last weekend I traveled back to Essex to help with the Great Holland fete. It was a real success, the sun shone and hundreds of people turned out in support.

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