The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ®

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ® was dreamed up by Simon Thackray as he stared out of a window at his local pub one sunny Sunday afternoon back in the early 90s. As waitresses floated past with plates of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, he mused on the idea of sailing down the river in a giant Yorkshire pudding boat. Soon, like Jack And The Beanstalk, this small seed of an idea grew into something much bigger…

PLEASE NOTE: There is NO Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ® this year.
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ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES – contact Simon Thackray.

Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race

Conceived and produced by Simon Thackray. Copyright © Simon Thackray. All rights reserved. The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race is a Registered Trade Mark. Photo © Tony Bartholomew.

As the title suggests, these are giant Yorkshire pudding boats made from flour, water and eggs. Now part of English folklore, Yorkshire Pudding Boats were originally baked to use as rescue boats in times of severe flooding. Several coats of Yacht varnish prevent them from going soggy… The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race is just one of a long list of weird and wonderful events from the “colourful mind of Simon Thackray, The Shed’s director. The Shed is North Yorkshire’s hub of improvised happenings.” (Jez Nelson, Jazz on 3)

Simon Thackray © Mary Thackray

“Certain men are notorious for what they get up to in their sheds. Simon Thackray runs an arts centre in his. For the past 20 years, The Shed, near the market town of Malton, has been responsible for some of the smallest and most inspired art events in the country.” Alfred Hickling Guardian

Simon’s projects have involved knitting, skips, rivers, vans, Yorkshire Puddings, knitted Elvis wigs, Fish and Chips and bingo. Lean more about Simon Thackray.

ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES – contact Simon Thackray

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race attracts considerable interest from media companies and programme makers – from Country File to Richard and Judy. To discuss filming or publicity opportunities, contact Simon. The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ® is a Registered Trade Mark of Simon Thackray.


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“I think it could be an Olympic sport…” Ben le Vay,
Bradt Guide – Eccentric Britain

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ® was first presented by The Shed in June 1999 on Bob’s Pond in Brawby. The boats were launched during a perfectly-timed thunder storm as the Bard of Barnsley, poet Ian McMillan, read the Yorkshire Pudding Boat Songs and M People saxophonist Snake Davis and the children of the Yorkshire Pudding Orchestra provided musical sound effects. (Ian’s 8 year old son Andrew McMillan (now a performance poet) operated a whoopee cushion and a legend was born.

“Soon it’ll be like Woodstock: people will pretend they were there – people will want to say, ‘I was there when it all started'” Independent On Sunday.

“It’s as bizarre as a Dadaist event from 1930. Tristan Tzara would feel very much at home.” Independent On Sunday

Read these amazing stories:
The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Songs by Ian McMillan – Part 1 (extract)
The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Songs by Ian McMillan – Part 2 (extract)

Try cooking these:  New Recipes for Yorkshire Puddings by Sarah Beattie

Independent On Sunday
Review of The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ®