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English Diary

British Customs, British Culture and British Traditions in July

27th Jun to 10th Jul

Wimbledon

Every year there's a little tennis competition at Wimbledon. Strawberries and cream anyone? Find Out More

2nd Saturday Jul

World Pea-Shooting Championships

This international event brings challengers from as far afield as New Zealand and the USA to compete for the World Pea Shooting trophy. Accuracy, not distance, is the aim of this competition, with contestants shooting a pea through a 12-inch tube, 12 feet towards a 12- inch target. Competition is fierce and laser-guided shooters for specialists are not uncommon, taking pea shooting into the 21st Century. Pea shooters and peas can be bought at the event (check out the new rules). Oh and there's lots of other stuff to do.

15th Jul

St Swithin's Day

If it rains today - watch out! According to an ancient myth, if it rains on St Swithin's Day, it will rain for the next 40 days. "St Swithin's day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain;
St Swithin's day, if thou be fair,
For forty days will rain nae mair." (Anon.)
Read More

15th Jul to 10th Sep

The Proms

Pom tiddly om pom. The Proms is held every year at the Royal Albert Hall it aims to present the widest possible range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences. Now there is also "Proms in the Park", a series of concerts to celebrate the Last Night of the Proms, which takes place in five locations accross the country. Learn More

16th Jul

The World Snail Racing Championship

Ready! Steady! Slow... More than 300 snails slug it out for the title of ‘Fastest Snail in the World’ at the World Snail Racing Championships. Anyone with a snail can enter and a number of heats are held before the grand final. The winner receives a silver tankard stuffed with lettuce. The world record is held by a snail called Archie who completed the 13 inch course (set up on top of a table) in two minutes. The championships are held as part of the Congham Fete which raises funds for the town's 13th Century St Andrews Church. Read More

28th to 31st Jul

WOMAD

IWorld of music, art and dance at Rivermead Leisure Centre, Caversham. The annual celebration of international music and dance with performers on various stages in and around the leisure centre. Craft and food village and workshop. Learn More

21st to 31st Jul

Whitstable Oyster Festival

This is when the oyster season starts. The people of Whitstable celebrate by hosting a range of different fun activities, and of course eating lots of oysters! Learn More

May to June

Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne is a 700-year old country house and opera house near Lewes in East Sussex, England. Since 1934 it has been the venue of the annual Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The festival is regarded as part of the London/English summer season. Performances, which start in the afternoon, enable Londoners to leave town after lunch, and finish in time for them to catch the last train back. A long interval allows opera-goers the opportunity for picnic dinners on the extensive lawns or in one of the restaurants in the grounds.

May Onwards

Well Dressing

In order to celebrate the springs that have provided fresh water for centuries, well dressing is an ancient art carried out in the county of Derbyshire, especially the Peak District. Every year from around May to August wells in the area are beautifully decorated with natural objects (usually petals from flowers) to form elaborate pictures, often nowadays with a religious theme.

The origins of well dressing are something of a mystery, but it is thought to predate Roman times. It was most likely a form of sacrifice to give thanks for the supply of water supplied by wells in the community. Learn More

Previous Diary
July 2000
Revised: July 2016
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