Saturday, 2 June 2012

Dover Olimpicks

'The first stirrings of Britain's Olympic beginnings ' The British Olympic Association.

The Olympics
Last night we all went to the 'Cotswold Games' also known as 'Robert Dover's Cotswold Olimpicks ' The weather was on our side and because it was celebrating it's 400th anniversary there were more stalls and an extra stage.
Dover's Hill is 750 feet above sea level and is above Chipping Campden. Once up there you can see a natural amphitheatre with fantastic views across the Vale of Evesham.
Last years Games.
Robert Dover ,an attorney, was born in 1575 and died in 1652. He is buried at Stanway. Wood said ' The said games were begun one Rob. Dover- who being full of activity, and of a generous, free and public spirit, did with leave from King James 1, select a place on the Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, whereon those games should be acted. Endimion Porter ESq., a native of that county, and a servant o that King, did to encourage Dover give him some of the king's old cloaths, with a hat and feather and ruff, purposely to grace him and consequently the solemnity.'

After King James death the Puritans banned their workers from attending and the games ended in 1642 with the start of The English Civil War. But you can't keep a good man down and it was back up and running in 1660.
I don't know how many people were there but in 1851 it was counted as thirty thousand !
Shakespeare was a visitor and mentioned it in The merry wives of Windsor '' How does your fallow greyhound,sir ? I heard he was outrun on Cotsall.''
On the music stage various acts performed including The Robert Boyd Band,  Mawkin, and   Eliza  Carthy and the Welcome songs.
Fuzzy picture of The Shin kIcking !

One of the most famous games associated with the Olimpicks is 'shin kicking' . Its certainly when the animal instincts of the crowd come into play. The men usually fill their trousers below the knee with straw and then in pairs hold each others shoulders and try to kick the other mans legs from beneath him. This year they had some sort of shin pads on...blooming health and safety I expect...but it didn't stop the winner from limping !  They also had maroon coats (instead of the usual white coats ), that were sponsored by Weird Fish...I suppose they thought it would be good advertising with the London Olympics. The winner threw his into the crowd so the cameras lost some of the publicity !..
The end of the games were marked by the lighting of a beacon and a great firework show.
The start of the torch light procession.

Finally hundreds of people carrying flaming torches walk down the small road back into Chipping Campden. As you walk down you can see a long snake of fire...It's a fantastic sight !..Put it in your diary for next year.

.Once again I'm ending with some music..nothing to do with the Olympics but a video that made me smile with the music of The Robbie Boyd Band.

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