It sounds unusual – but a lot of fun! Karen Hutchinson, Event Organiser of the Stroud Brick and Rolling Pin Contest, explains the special international connection this event has – and also just what will happen at Stroud Showground on July 14!
What can you tell us about the Stroud Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Contest?
The Stroud Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Contest is an annual event held in July between the four townships of Stroud in the world – Stroud in Gloucestershire, England; in Oklahoma, U.S.A.; in Ontario, Canada, and here in New South Wales, Australia.
The first contest – with brick throwing only – was held in 1960 between Stroud, U.S.A. and Stroud, England, when it was discovered that both towns had Brickworks in common.
In 1961, having realised the existence of two other Strouds, in Canada and Australia, the contest involved the four countries, again with brick throwing only. At the suggestion of Stroud, Australia, it was decided to introduce a rolling pin throwing contest for the women in 1962, while the men were throwing the bricks. It is interesting to note that all rolling pins used in the contests since that time have been made in this area and shipped overseas.
Competition bricks are especially made 5 lb. bricks, and the rolling pins are 2 lb. in weight, and both are generally thrown in a discus style.
The current brick throwing record is 142’6”, and the rolling pin throwing record is 156’4”, held by England and U.S.A. respectively. Note that Imperial measurements are used to conform with the other countries.
Principal competition involves six person teams, with points scored 10 to one by the top ten individual throws. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the first three places in each event. Team points are then compiled, with a trophy being available for the winning team.
Our day here in Stroud, Australia, has grown steadily since 1961, and these days it attracts approximately 3,000 visitors.
The contest is officially opened by either a visiting celebrity, or a representative of one of the participating countries. Immediately following the opening ceremony, a programme of events is conducted, such as children’s events, music, bands, clowns, displays of different natures, wood chopping, tug-o-war, etc. These items vary from year to year in an endeavour to provide an interesting and varied day’s entertainment for all attending.
While this programme is taking place, elimination heats are being conducted, and the international teams chosen. The culmination of the day is the international team event at 3pm. Australia’s results are then telephoned to America, where results on an international level are compiled, and telephoned back to participating countries.
When and where will the event be held this year?
The event will be held on July 14. The official opening will be held at 11:30am, and at 12:30pm we are calling on visitors to don their Akubra style hats in an attempt to beat the current Guinness World Record for the most people wearing an Akubra hat in one place. Where: Stroud Showground, Cowper Street, Stroud.
What’s the current record for both brick and rolling pin throwing at our local event?
The 2017 brick throwing title is held by Kurt Livens, who threw 97’ 7”, and the rolling pin 2017 champ is Melissa Holahan, who threw 120’ 10’. Both will be attending the 2018 event.
Apart from the throwing contests, what other activities are on offer on the day – especially for families?
Guinness Book of Records attempt, the Marching Koalas, an array of food stalls, crafts, local produce, vintage Ford car display, quilting exhibition, amusements and rides for the children.
How much is entry to the event?