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Batterlines are drawn for the Ilkley’s annual pancake races
The frying pans will be out in anger in Ilkley on Shrove Tuesday (February 12) as the town centre becomes the battleground for the annual Ilkley Pancake Races.
Ilkley Rotary Club will host the races for the third time, closing off The Grove to traffic, and inviting supporters to come along and cheer on their classmates and colleagues.
Primary schools in the area, as well as students from Ilkley Grammar School, are already signed up to take part in the races on Tuesday morning.
But Ilkley Rotary Club is still keen to hear from more grown-up competitors who would like to take part in the adults’ races, which begin at noon.
Rotary Club members have been out drumming up support from workplaces around the town centre, and this year they hope to host several adult races, after the junior races.
As in previous years, pans and pancakes are being provided for the occasion by Ilkley hardware store Mortens, and Bettys.
In each race, competitors will line up at one end of The Grove, pans and pancakes at the ready, then dash along the street, performing the required successful flip of their pancake at the finish line.
If enough adults sign up for the race, it is hoped as many as four runs will take place on Tuesday.
One of the organisers, Geoffrey Maldwyn-Jones, said: “We’re appealing to the businesses and the people who work in the businesses to take part in the Pancake Race.”
The first junior races will begin at 10.30am, and the Grove is expected to open at 1.30pm.
A collection in aid of Rotary charities will also take place on the day.
Although Ilkley’s own Pancake Day tradition does not date back many years, the event is based on a centuries-old race held in Olney, Lincolnshire.
The tradition of making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday itself is based on using up dairy products and rich ingredients before the traditional Lent fast.
Contact Geoffrey Maldwyn-Jones on (01943) 839205 or Paul Kitching on (01943) 604683 for more information about the adult races.