The Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta might sound posh but is in fact a relaxed family affair. It's only a few miles up-river from the very grand Henley Royal Regatta, where this particular dress code and greasy pole competition would probably cause heart failure among the guardians of the Stewards Enclosure. From my book, "Being English"
This photo was made in the 1970s at Pontin's Holiday Camp in Weston-super-Mare, during a Knobbly Knees Competition. It's hard to believe than one lived through such an innocent age with such simple pleasures. Still, my vote goes to the second pair from the left! From my book, "Being English"
This gentleman was astride a wooden horse at a Savile Row tailor in 1975, where he was being fitted for a hunting jacket. The coat was being cut to look its best in the saddle, and to impress the foxes who, fortunately, are no longer being hunted. From my book, "Being English"
Also known as the Flora, this dance takes place in and around the Cornish community of Helston, in early May. This photo was made shortly after sunrise, in 2003. It's quite usual for the dancers to weave in and out of houses in the town, all to celebrate the coming of Spring and increased fertility!
From my book, "Being English"
At the Malham Show in the Yorkshire Dales, in 2001. This was mainly a rural show, with cows and sheep winning the prizes, but these kids were far more thrilled by the roaring engines, fumes and flying mud created at the start of the motocross event. I think my camera survived. From my book, "Being English"
At a sale of stuffed animals in Clerkenwell in the 1970s. While the lions and tigers were being auctioned upstairs this rhinoceros, too big for the lift, was being protected from passing hunters in the downstairs lobby. From my book, "Being English"