The sausages are nicely burnt, there’s a fly drowning in a cup of tea and it’s clouding over. How could this vision of the British summertime get any better? Simple: with a game of Wellie Wanging.
Wellie Wanging, or to use the American translation, throwing a rain boot over your shoulder, can be found at a variety of rural events across Great Britain. Wanging is popular at summer school fetes, weddings, village fairs or county shows. Never mind coming second in the Olympic medal table, these countryside occasions showcase the best of Britain: growing an exceptionally large parsnip, perfecting raspberry jam or other such larks as running in the “Dad Race” or winning at the coconut shy.
None of these, however, compare to the excitement of competitive Wellie Wanging. A Wellie is short for Wellington Boot, named after the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The aim of the game is thus: launch a rain boot as far as possible. That’s it.
As we see in the above video, two gentlemen, possibly after a few too many pints of ale, are wanging head-to-head.
Judging by the pastel-colored neck ties, the venue of this bout could be a field at the back of a wedding reception. As the men warm up with some arm lunges, someone in the crowd heckles: “Get on with it you two!”
The boots soar through the air and land with a rubbery bump. No celebration from either competitor, as they stroll off back to eat meringue. (Although these participants appear to be competing at the beginner level, there is a World Championship event that takes place in northern Britain every year.)
We hear one of the shirted men say, “I think that proves something.” We’ll never know what.
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