Women of all ages from around the sleepy village of Crumpet-Dean in Gloucestershire will today be joining the locals on the green for an unusual event to flick-start the harvest season.
Today marks the annual 'Flicking Of The Bean'- a competition that is bringing this little-known location to nationwide applaud. The aim is simple: to flick one's bean over and into a pot in the centre of a small wooden table, and to do so before the opponent. It is a game of accuracy and endurance, described by local Mrs. Sandra Tilling as "knackering, but worth the effort".
Bean-flicking is not the only game to be taken seriously at the festival. Due to an increase in popularity over previous years it shall now be preceded by a round of heats over the course of the morning designed to whittle down the competition. Among them are 'Stuffing Carrots', 'Ping Pong Cherry Tomato', and the frighteningly named team game 'Sprout Attack'.
The festival, which has yet to be given an official title, is exclusively for women. Tracy Binbag, who was born in Crumpet Dean, came up with the event with a small group of friends in 1993 as a backlash to the male-dominated national league tables of Britain's most celebrated sports. As a result she has managed to sidetrack the laws of discrimination and create something of an older time in which women can rally together, regardless of fitness, and have some fun in a secluded countryside community with views over the picturesque grassy valley. "The men take a day off when we Flick the Bean," says Tracy, "we just tell them to go do some shopping or something," and so they do, obligingly, most choosing The White Hart in neighbouring Swagglestone Heigh, which enjoys its busiest day of the year.