Great Pancake Grease / Жирный блин

The custom known as the Great Pancake Grease Is annually observed on Shrove Tuesday at Westminster School where schoolboys would fight for pancakes to gain monetary awards. At eleven o’clock in the morning, the cook, in his white jacket, cap, and apron, comes to the Great Schoolroom, where a crowd of boys and spectators awaits him. He is preceded by the verger, bearing a silver-topped mace, and he carries a frying-pan containing a pancake. This cake he tosses expertly over the high iron bar which separates the old Upper and Lower Schools, and as it falls on the farther side, a wild scramble to catch it begins. At one time, all the boys in the school took...


part in this scrimmage, but now each form chooses one of its members to represent it. The boy who succeeds in securing the pancake, or the greater part of it, receives a guinea from the Dean. The cook also receives a fee, and this he certainly deserves, for tossing a pancake neatly over a bar sixteen feet from the ground is by no means an easy task. Yet only rarely has there been a failure. In 1934, the cake hit the bar, and most of it remained hanging there far above the heads of the boys and the onlookers. Another pancake was quickly produced and tossed, this time successfully, and the scramble then proceeded as usual.


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