Egremont Crab Fair

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The Crab Fair in Egremont, Cumbria,was first held in 1267, when King Henry III granted a Royal Charter to Thomas de Multon (1247-1294), Lord of the Barony of Egremont, for a weekly market on Wednesdays and an annual fair to be held on the 7th, 8th and 9th of September.

Nowadays, with many people working a five day week and the weekend being their time of leisure, the fair is held on a Saturday. It has become traditional to hold the fair on the third Saturday of September.

The main event at today's fair is the 'Gurning Championship' - pulling an ugly face.

Gurning is said to have originated in the practice of mocking the village idiot. A horse collar would be put around the persons neck, watch him 'gurn' or pull faces and then treat him to a pint or two of beer.

The history of Egremont's Crab Fair can be found on the web site

For a foreigner's perspective of the day, refer to J.R.Daeschner's book True Brits published by Arrow Books (ISBN 0 09 945346 0) - Chapter 7 "The Oogly Truth About England".