Flipping Craic in the the Victorian Quarter



There was great flipping craic in Cork city today as traders stopped city traffic to recreate their street’s once-famous pancake racing tradition.

Dozens of traders based on Cork’s historic MacCurtain St armed themselves with frying pans and pancake batter to sprint down the street which once hosted pancake races every Shrove Tuesday.

Sandra Murphy of the Trigon Hotels Group, owners of the Metropole which organised the event, and which also sponsored the street’s last pancake race in 1988, described it as “great fun”.

“The Victorian Quarter is steeped in history and we were thrilled to organise such a nostalgic event recreating this once much-loved event on the street. We hope to make it an annual event,” she said.

“There are a lot of road works going on along the street at the moment but everyone in business here knows that you can’t make a pancake without breaking a few eggs. This part of the city is undergoing a remarkable revival and the road works are a necessary part of that.

“Collaboration is the key to being in business on this street and we are just thrilled to part of such a proactive and vibrant part of the city.”

Workers at Thompson’s Bakery, which was founded in 1826 and based in the street’s landmark red sandstone building, staged pancake races in the 1950s and ’60s. The tradition waned and died out altogether after Thompson’s closed in 1984.

The Metropole sponsored an inter-hotel pancake race in the 1980s which attracted hotel chefs and staff from across the city.

Dozens of people sprinted up Harley St on Shrove Tuesday 1988 and after a bruising turn at the top, where several pancake racers collided and fell, Imperial Hotel chef, Paul McNamee, finished in first place.

Text by Eoin English Irish Examiner Reporter  Picture Dan Linehan Sound Bite Mairead Twohig Corks 96fm