Film ID: YFA 5357 Video of YFA 5357 Pancake Day Scramble (c.1960) PANCAKE DAY SCRAMBLE c.1960 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film of school children having a fun time scrambling for pancakes, possibly in Swinton Bridge. A woman in a white cook’s outfit and tossing a pancake in a frying pan emerges from a school. She enters a field across the road from the school, still with the remains of snow on the ground, where the school children, without uniforms, have gathered. She tosses the pancake high into the air, and a group of the boys scramble after it, piling on top of each other. Some of them emerge with pieces of the pancake. With the other children cheering on from the side-lines, there is another huge scramble for a pancake, with boys and girls joining in, jumping on each other in one great melee. Afterwards a male teacher weighs the pieces that some of the children have managed to collect and awards the winner, who has amassed the most pieces of pancake. The winner, a girl, holds up her takings, and the other children cheer her on as she walks through the throng. Context The Fight between Carnival and Lent. In the time before the zealous protection of children, when school kids were even encouraged to be rough, this South Yorkshire mixed bunch of school children enjoy a good brawl in the snow as they fight over a piece of pancake, fresh from the cook’s pan. The teacher looks on in delight as the assorted girls and boys produce mayhem with a pancake, with a girl surfacing with the biggest piece to great acclaim. It isn’t known who took this film, or which school it is of, but we can be fairly sure it was taken on Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, around 1960. There are many customs associated with Shrovetide, such as mob football, and of course the pancake race, allegedly going back to 1445 when a woman of Olney heard the Shriving Bell while she was making pancakes and ran to the church in her apron, still clutching her frying pan. The school scramble, whose history and extent is unclear, seems to have started in Westminster School in the early 18th century when a pancake was hurled over a 16 foot high beam, with a resulting fierce scramble for the largest piece, the winner receiving a guinea.