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Dover's Hill Games

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61451.  Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:05 am Reply with quote

Question: When did the Olympic Games feature shin-kicking, pillow-fighting and sword-fighting events?

Answer: This summer.

Notes: The Cotswold Olympick Games, held annually on Dover Hill in Chipping Camden, was first organised in 1612 by Robert Dover, with leave from James I.

Events include a shin-kicking contest, which used to be fought with straw-stuffed trousers and hobnail boots. Competitors would simply kick each other's shins until one of them fell down. Serious competitors would attempt to harden up their shins beforehand using coal hammers.

There is a great deal of food, ale, high-jinks and larks, and plenty of dancing on the two nights it's held. There are donkey and horse races, punch-and-judy shows, sword fighting, chess tournaments and who knows what all.

After the games became rather rowdy in 1852, due to the continued presence of 'riff-raff' (workers on the Campden tunnel were blamed) they were closed down. But in 1963, when the land was bought up by the National Trust, the games were re-kindled and are now still very popular.

In recent years, the whole thing has become marred once again by the presence of morris dancers.



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