Egg Rolling in Preston on Easter Monday

At Avenham Park in Preston, there is an annual egg rolling competition on Easter Monday that attracts huge crowds.  Known as pace egging, there is a long tradition of egg rolling in Preston and people have been doing it for hundreds of years.  Originally decorated Pace Eggs were used, but now the eggs are more likely to be chocolate which may be a good thing because there is an old legend that says the broken eggshells should be carefully crushed afterwards or they will be stolen and used as boats by witches.

There is also pace-egging on Holcombe Hill near Ramsbottom on Good Friday when it is traditional to climb the hill as it is said to resemble Calvary where Jesus was crucified.  Historically the gathering was for an act of Christian worship but after the service people would climb the steep slopes to roll their eggs, and at one time there were even special trains from Bury to bring the crowds.

In Rochdale the tradition was known as Bowl-egg Sunday with a line marked out at a set distance.  At Blackpool people would roll their eggs down the sandhills near the promenade and in other parts of the county it’s recorded that ‘boys would throw the eggs in the air like throwing a ball’.

When I went to watch the egg rolling in Avenham Park last year there was a lot more throwing than rolling going on there. But everyone seemed to be having a good time.

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