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The Great St John’s Pancake Race

Possibly the biggest highlight and most memorable event in the St John’s annual calendar is the infamous pancake race! Pupils from across the School excitedly took part in the annual House competition, with teams of four relaying around The Quad, cheered on by the whole school.

The event is very popular amongst pupils and staff, and this year was no exception. Huge crowds watched as the thrilling heats took place on Tuesday 13 February, with pupils poised at each corner of The Quad to run and flip as fast as they could, with the hope of taking the coveted first place.

Pupils take the event very seriously, with marshals placed at each side of The Quad monitoring the quantity and quality(!) of pancake flipping and ensuring fair play.

This year’s ‘flipping champions’ were…       

1st - Surrey House
2nd - North House
3rd - Montgomery House
4th - South House 

The present inter house pancake race around The Quad was first introduced by the Revd Clive Case (Chaplain 2008-2011) in 2009.

‘Father Clive introduced what is likely to become a St John's tradition - a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race round the Quad. Resplendent in Cassock and Biretta, the Chaplain oversaw the Inter-House event which the whole School turned out to watch.’

The first recorded pancake race in The Johnian was the prefects pancake race in 1973.  There was another in 1974.  Photo of the 1974 event may indicate why it ceased to feature in The Johnian or the School calendar after this!


Pancake Race 1973
Pancake Race 1974
Pancake Race 2010