In Scarborough, Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day is more commonly referred to as Skipping Day. On the afternoon of Shrove Tuesday, when the pancake bell has been rung by the mayor, people flock to Scarborough’s South Bay to take part in long-rope skipping, pancake races and games on the beach, a tradition which has taken place in Scarborough for over 100 years. So today, as well as eating pancakes for breakfast, I’ve been down at South Bay along with the rest of the town, since Scarborough folk like to earn their pancakes by vigorously exercising all afternoon.
Scarborough is the only place in the UK to host a skipping festival on Shrove Tuesday. The tradition stems from Scarborough’s fishing town heritage and was first recorded in 1903 but is thought to be much older. Shrove Tuesday was traditionally a day for games and old fishing ropes were given to children to use for skipping. To this day the tradition continues and the Foreshore Road that runs along the seafront is completely closed for the day and filled with locals and long skipping ropes. People of all ages take part in Shrove Tuesday skipping and children are allowed to leave school at lunch time to spend the afternoon at the beach.
Today has been a beautiful sunny day, perfect weather to be down at the beach but it’s still February and therefore a little chilly so I’m also grateful to be back inside with a warm cup of coffee.