Plans to stage a custard pie fight as part of the forthcoming Bakewell Baking Festival descended into farce – when insurers decided the event was just too dangerous.
Their decision was one in the eye for festival organiser Paul Morgans, who is also the town’s mayor.
“It’s a classic case of world gone mad. I mean, how can a paper plate and some shaving foam be more dangerous than horse riding or rugby, or even crossing the road?” he says.
“I’ve never heard of anyone getting seriously injured by a pie in the face.”
The plan is for a slapstick slinging match, entitled Pies and Prejudice, with contestants dressed as Mr Darcy in honour of Bakewell’s Jane Austen connection – the author completed her book while staying in the town and this year is the 200th anniversary of its publication.
The event was to be one of the quirkier attractions at the festival, on June 8 and 9, and was designed to raise funds for local charity Helen’s Trust.
But when Paul approached his insurers to underwrite the contest, he was astonished to be turned down.
He tried a number of companies, only to get the same response – and even contacted insurers of the World Bog Snorkelling championships, but with no luck.
“I thought we could get away with a disclaimer form, but the council would then be held responsible and they didn’t want to take the risk either,” he says.
“Oh how I long for the days of Tiswas and the Phantom Flan Flinger, and the much-loved Laurel and Hardy epic custard pie fight.”
However, Paul and partner Janet Reeder, co-organiser of the festival, are now in with a sporting chance of winning their pie fight – after London-based insurers of the Olympic Games stepped in to help.
Provided Derbyshire Dales District Council gives the green light, it means the flan flinging can now go ahead.
So now the call has gone out for potential Mr Darcys to join in the fun on Sunday, June 9.
Entries are invited from teams of up to six. Entry is £10 per team, with all proceeds going to Helen’s Trust. There will be a prize for the best dressed Darcy on the day.
For details visit: Bakewell Baking Festival
Bakewell’s first Baking Festival will take over the Peak District town on June 8 and 9.
The line-up features demonstrations from celebrity bakers Stacie Stewart and Edd Kimber.
Other attractions include masterclasses, competitions, theatre, a mad hatter’s tea party, a baking trail and a vintage market taking over the town centre.