The annual Peterborough Ramblers Running of the Bulls (Nassington part 2)

My apologies if you are viewing on a phone – the normal delicate way in which photographic evidence is intermingled with the surrealist writing has broken down today for reasons I can’t ascertain.  For the full effect try viewing on a computer.

Pictures by Simon Brandford.  Commentary by Nuestro hombre en España.

The running of the bulls is an ancient annual tradition from the village of Nassington, although it has been a little overshadowed in recent years by the copycat activities in Spain.  The picture left showing the commemoration of the Spanish approach is by Владимир Шеляпин

So it was with much excitement that the Peterborough version of the famous event gathered with our man on the spot ready to capture the full excitement of the day’s events.

And while the “running” in Spain has become something of a commercialised ritual I am pleased to say that here a more restrained approach is maintained in keeping with the dignity of the bulls.

And indeed the photographer, who will not have anything to do with all this running around malarky.

The bulls too need to have a say in the affair and your correspondent is given to understand that there was much debate between the leader of our merry band (who is apparently going to be released from hospital any month now) and the leader of the drove.

Agreement was reached I am delighted to say and it was firmly resolved on both sides that the number of gorings would be kept to a manageable level in keeping with the occasion.

The notice pictured here tells us that Old Sulehay Forest is a fragment of the ancient Rockingham Forest, a royal hunting forest that extended from Wansford to Kettering.

What the notice does not say is that the area is guarded by vast numbers of black and white sheep who are known to terrorize anyone who gets too close, unlike the bulls who quite happily just eat grass.  [I think we might need to check some of the factual data on this report before publishing – Head of accuracy division]. 

Marching ever forthwards and not worrying about matters of personal safety and the like, we found that as we progressed so the bulls got smaller, a process known locally as “bull shrinking”.

A very jolly time was had by one and all, but of course it is always right that at the end of any walk of this nature we should consider those who have walked this way before, and whose negotiations with the locals have not been as well planned and carefully organised as our own.

And thus it was that there was a certain amount of pause for thought as we moved from the drovisity and on to the memorial of those who had walked this way before but without the deep attention to detail and accuracy of planning for which Peterborough Ramblers is justly known throughout the kingdom.


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