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British Customs

There exist some very unusual traditions in Great Britain.

One of them is Town Crier’s Rivalry. Town criers from all parts of the country gather at Hastings, Sussex, in August for the National Town Crier’s Championship. For the contest they wear their traditional ceremonial uniforms and carry their handbells. A procession headed by the Hastings band marches to an arena where the Mayor, members of town council and civil officials greet them. To enable the judges to determine who possesses the most powerful voice the competitors are rowed to a small island about 75 yards from them. From this little island they one by one make their cries and declaim a 150- word test piece.

Another curious tradition reminds us of our country. Fun and jokes are very common on April Fool’s Day. In Scotland an old name for April Fool is April-cuckoo. For some reason the cuckoo is a symbol for daftness. The return of the cuckoo and the arrival of spring are connected with all this fooling.

Still another interesting tournament is the Veteran Car Run. The veteran cars are set out on the London — Brighton run each November. There is a condition — every car taking part must be at least 60 years old. The London — Brighton ride is not a race. Participants are limited to a maximum average speed of 20 miles per hour. At 8 o’clock comes the “Off”. The main things in this tournament are the cars that represent the history of the country.

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