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English eccentricity

English eccentricity
Vic Owen, also known as King Conker, declares the 2004 Championships open.© Ashton Conker Club

Cheese rolling, conkers, pooh sticks, trainspotting, flat cap flinging, well-dressing and turnip rolling – are all things that pick up on an eccentricity that is arguably quintessentially British.

Call it peculiar; call it dotty, daft or downright silly, but as a nation we notoriously seem to enjoy doing things ‘outside of the box’.

But why exactly are we drawn to weird and wonky hobbies, quixotic ideals and slightly strange ways of passing the time? Well, we certainly boast a veritable feast of eccentrics – past and present - from William Blake to Vivienne Westwood, Jack Mytton to Jimmy Savile.


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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry