Mud, Mud, glorious mud.
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!
So follow me, follow.
Down to the hollow.
And there let us wallow.
In glorious mud
Essex is a strange county to live in, with its traditions and customs – some traditions centuries old, such as the Dunmow Flitch, Plough Monday and New Year’s Day Molly Dancers. Other customs are more recent, such as the Maldon’s Mud Race, which (according to its official website) was first “run” in 1973.
Maldon is one of Essex’s hidden jewels of a town. But, for good reason, the town is locally nicknamed “Maldon-on-the-Mud”. Its nickname certainly comes to the forefront with its unique race. The race is “run” (or should I say, “crawled”) when participants have to make their way from Maldon’s beautiful Promenade Park, across the river Blackwater at low-tide, then crawl along through the mud on the river-bed, and run back through the river to return to Promenade Park. This year, on Sunday 26 April 2015, three-hundred people took part; most raising money for local and national charities.
It is such a good fun race to watch that I thought I’d share with you some of my photographs from the day. It would be good if modern-day technology had “smell-o-vision” because the pictures don’t give you the earthy salty smell of the thick black gloopy mud which wafts up from the river-bed at low tide. The poor “runners” had to contend with all of this, and it was a freezing cold day. If you look closely at some of the pictures, you will see some poor participants sunk upto their waist in the black mud and being pulled out with ropes from the helpers.
I wonder what John Betjeman would have made of Maldon’s glorious Mud Race?…
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© Essex Voices Past 2015.