Wybunbury Fig Pie Wake is a very strange, very English, and (apparently) quite old. The custom of rolling specially-made fig pies down the village's hill at the annual Wybunbury Wakes festival in Cheshire is strangely interesting
Once a year, in a quiet and picturesque village, tucked away in a corner of South Cheshire, over 1,000 people enjoy the June sunshine, while watching a very different kind of sport: Fig Pie Rolling.
The Fig Pie Wakes Festival
It's one of those rather eccentric English pass times (alongside the Cooper's Hill cheese rolling in Gloucestershire and Worm Charming Contest in Willaston).
Fig pie rolling has been a tradition in the village since the 1800s, with the earliest 'Wybunbury Wakes' poster (dated back to 1819) depicting not only the rolling but donkey rides and that popular pastime ' racing for a new saddle and bridle' (hmm).
Actually, the festival was cancelled back in the 19th century for quite a few years due to unruly locals brawling at the public house (so we were told by one of the villagers).
But luckily it was started up again in 1995, when the Wybunbury Tower Preservation Trust revived it in order to use it to raise money for the upkeep of the village's historic Leaning Tower'.
The Rules (it's serious competition!)
To take part in the Rolling, villagers have to buy a sheet with the traditional fig pie recipe, from either the local post office or one of the local pubs, which also acts as their entrance fee - and ensures everyone starts off on a even keel.
Entrants then have to bake the pie themselves in the days before the race (or months if you're really dedicated) adhering to the traditional recipe, which was given by one of the old members of the community. The pastry is incredibly hard, making it ideal for purpose...
The winner is the one whose pie rolls the furthest down the hill.