Merry Shrovetide first launched in 2017 as a one-day event entitled ‘A Very Tudor Pancake Day’. Part of the University of Bristol’s Past Matters History Festival, the free event took place at the Easton Community Centre and Cafe des Amis. It included a plethora of hands-on activities which encouraged participants to engage with the history of Shrove Tuesday, and their own heritage, in creative ways. Families mixed and ate pancakes together, following recipes from Elizabethan cookbooks. Children young and old crafted their own Carnival masks, drawing inspiration from the fantastic costumes worn at Shrovetide masques of the Tudor and Stuart courts.
Living history performer Ed Boreham captured the attention of our younger participants (and BBC Points West) with his demonstration of the historical arms and armour of Shrovetide jousts and tournaments. Early music ensemble Passamezzo led participants in Tudor song and dance, singing Shrovetide songs which likely have not been heard in centuries. Finally, a temporary exhibition about the history of Shrovetide, and the detailed research that went into making the event, was on display for participants to peruse.
‘A Very Tudor Pancake Day’ attracted over 100 local participants, including members of the media such as BBC Points West News, Lucy Tegg on BBC Radio Bristol, the Bristol Post, and Bristol photographer and blogger Rebecca Noakes.