Easter Bank Holiday today! Yes, it’s time to get in the car again, hit the road and wander endlessly up and down the British Isles looking for something to do! Well, wander no more, as today I bring you a helpful list of some of the more off-beat attractions on offer this Eastertide!
Vinegar Museum, Kenilworth
Believed to be the world’s first museum entirely devoted to the art of vinegar-making, this Midlands treasure-store is housed in an old vinegar mill recently restored to working order. There are demonstrations of mayonnaise-making daily at 10 am and 2 pm. You can taste over a hundred different fruit-flavoured vinegars. The huge water-powered vinegar wheel will be in operation today.
Scrofula- A Celebration!
There are many bodies dedicated to health, fitness and exercise, but only the Sealed Flask believes in the historical celebration of ancient plagues and diseases, which they do by re-enacting great epidemics of the past. Today they are devoting a day-long pageant to the famous King’s Illness. Free health insurance to all paying visitors. Leave M6 at Exit 31 and follow the signs to “Wart World”.
The Site of the Battle of Newbury Bypass
John Prescott has recently decided that in the absence of any modern battles on British soil, future generations will be equally fascinated by passages of civil disobedience in the late twentieth century. Accordingly, he has declared the area near Newbury where protestors came to blows with road contractors and their security people to be a part of the national heritage, and ordered that the site should be preserved from development. It is open to the public for the first time this Easter.
The Fruit Pastille Museum, Cumbria
Believed to be the world’s first museum entirely devoted to the art of fruit pastille making, this sweet-toothed cornucopia is housed in a genuine old fruit pastille foundry, which has been disused since 1906 and is now restored to full working order by the Sweetmeats Society. See the boiling vats of green, orange and yellow fruit treacle! Discover how wine gums have been made for centuries without the use of wine! Find out why the black fruit pastille is always the most popular in the packet, no matter what it tastes of! Open all day for sale of fruit pastilles, also newspapers, cigarettes, ice creams and soft drinks.
The Great Millennium Shropshire Egg-Roll
The traditional egg-rolling ceremony at Winchknock Hill, which has been in abeyance for a century or two, has been revived this year with a modern twist - there will be a contest between those who think that free range eggs roll best, and those who think that the modern battery chicken egg can hold its own in a rolling situation. Also, separate races for goose eggs, duck eggs, etc, and a special new category this year for ostrich eggs. The afternoon will end with a grand omelette feast.
The Real Farm Experience, Beggie Farm, Clackmannanshire
Hamish Wishart, a Scottish farmer of forty years standing, is making a stand against all those farm trails and “farm experiences” which claim to give the outsider a taste of farm life. His farm experience is entirely indoors and clerical, and takes the visitor through three hours of VAT-form filling, quota applications, invoice-filing, bank overdraft negotiations and regulation-reading. If the visitor gets through that satisfactorily, he may be allowed out into the farm for a short while. Therapists and counsellors on hand.
Police Fun Car Chase Extravanganza
The police are keenly aware that many accidents and road deaths these days are caused by police cars racing to the scenes of other crimes. This is because civilians will insist on keeping getting in the way of speeding police cars, so for this Easter Monday jamboree the police are staging a special high series of car chases in which ONLY police cars are involved. They will be sealing off the back streets of a yet-to-be-named Northern town and squealing round it after each other at speeds in excess of 90 mph.
The Hot Water Bottle Museum, Nr. Melksham, Wilts
Believed to be the country’s first museum devoted entirely to the history of hot water bottles, this West Country showcase is housed in an old hot water bottle rubber mill which was active as recently as 1887 and has been restored to full working order by the Night Comfort Society. There are exotic “hotties” from all round the world, including American examples from Prohibition Days designed to keep illicit moonshine in, and exquisite Japanese bottles, which are transparent for the display of miniature tropical fish. Follow the signs to “Warmth World”.
The Independent Monday April 5 1999