WATCH: World’s most famous pancake race draws the crowds to Olney

Crowds lined the streets of Olney for the world famous traditional pancake race on Shrove Tuesday.

In a custom dating back to 1445, the ladies of the town lined up to compete in the race, started at 11.55am by the churchwarden.

Olney Pancake Race. Picture: Jane Russell

Olney Pancake Race. Picture: Jane Russell

The historic race this year saw runners head from the High Street and finishing in Church Street, with the winner receiving a customary kiss from the verger.

Children from schools in Olney also take part in their own races during the morning. Since 1950 the town has also competed against the women of Liberal, Kansas, USA in an international race.

Pancake breakfasts in the Market Square started off proceedings, with children’s entertainment and races for the younger runners.

The famous women’s race was followed by the traditional Shriving Service in the parish church with the official prize-giving ceremony.

Olney Pancake Race

Olney Pancake Race

The link with liberal (Kansas, USA) takes place in the church hall at 7pm where winners are invited and all are welcome.