World gurning championships, England


Make way, Miss World, for the answer to all conventional beauty pageants. In this contest, a pretty face will get you absolutely nowhere – since the objective is to appear as ugly as possible.

Contestants take it in turns to ‘gurn’ or pull a face through a horse collar, with the winner being the person who produces the most grotesque visage.

The face-pulling contest is held annually on the third Saturday in September at the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria, which also plays host to a pipe-smoking race and greasy pole climbing competition.

Competitors attempt to climb a lard-greased pole to retrieve a prize from the top. That beats a swimwear parade any day.

Written by - Photo by Tim Simpson

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