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The fig pie baked by Melanie Booth and decorated by Ian Booth for local MP Edward Timpson
Cheshire's Fig Wake Roll

The return of South Cheshire’s Fig Wake rolls back into the village of Wybunbury on 11th June and this time, for the first time, Robinsons’ pub the Swan Inn will also host a three day beer festival from 10th – 12th June.

This peculiar event was first celebrated back in the early 19th century and to this day the rules remain basically the same. Contestants bake a fig pie – to a time-honoured secret recipe – and then roll it down a hill. The winner, whose pie is the quickest and still intact, is then crowned ‘Pie-roller Champion’. The earliest Wybunbury Wake recorded was in 1819 but this was later ‘cut’ due to ‘unruly circumstances’. However, in 1995 the rural event was reinstated as part of the Wybunbury Tower Preservation Tower fundraiser; to raise funds towards the maintenance of their historic leaning tower.

Fast forward 21 years and the local tower trust continues to host the famous Wybunbury Wake and this year locals are keener than ever to get their bake on. But this is not an event to be taken lightly. Participants have to follow a strict recipe and adhere to traditional rules dating back 200 years.

 This competitive ritual has become Wybunbury’s most anticipated annual sporting event; with locals preparing their fig pies months in advance to ensure their baked goods are more robust to withhold the pressure of the famous hill roll. On the day itself, the whole street is cornered off between the Swan Inn and the Red Lion on the Wybunbury Main Road; allowing spectators to have the best view of the rolling pies. Seven years ago the record for the longest roll was set at 300ft… could this be the year we see a new record-breaking-roll?

A view of the Robinsons' pub the Swan Inn Wybunbury with steam trains outside the pub
Robinsons' pub the Swan Inn, Wybunbury

To coincide with this year’s event, the Swan Inn will be hosting a beer festival from 10 – 12th June (true to the event’s original format). The Robinsons pub will provide live music and a vast range of Robinsons’ award-winning ales, guest ales and craft beers.

Licensee of the Swan Inn, Ian Booth, commented: “This is a fiercely competitive and extraordinary event that our village is very proud of and we’re excited to be a part of it; particularly my wife Melanie who always bakes the fig pie for the local MP Edward Timpson. Last year our pie was also declared the winner so fingers crossed. Our weekend beer festival of live music, great food and a wide range of Robinsons’ award-winning ales promises to be a great day out for all the whole family.

Why not take part in this year’s celebrations? For more information, call Swan Inn 01270 841280, visit the Swan Inn, Facebook and Twitter. Or the Wybunbury Tower website. 

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