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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Gurn but not forgotten

Champion:Peter Jackman died in a cliff accident last year

By Andrea Thompson

TRIBUTES will be paid to Cumbria’s famous gurner Peter Jackman at the annual Egremont Crab Fair this Saturday.

Mr Jackman died in a tragic cliff accident in Spain six months ago, and will be sadly missed at the fair’s World Gurning Championships, which he won four times with his “Bela Lugosi” face.

His friends and family have rallied round to honour him with a lasting memorial and a special award – the Peter Jackman Memorial Trophy – will be presented to this year’s gurning champ.

Crab Fair spokesman Karl Connor said: “The whole event will be tinged with sadness following the death, not only of Peter, but of another stalwart, Albert Henson, who also died this year.

“We owe it to them to have the best event possible, so it’s going to be one big party.”

Mr Jackman’s winning gurn made him a familiar face around the world and he made numerous TV appearances, including an appearance on the BBC’s They Think It’s All Over.

Mr Henson, who died last month aged 92, was a fellow four-times world gurning champion. He was the oldest man to win the gurning title at 82 and was also a TV star, appearing in the Golden Wonder crisps adverts.

Egremont Crab Fair gets underway with the greasy pole competition at 7am on Saturday in the Market Place and is followed by a host of events in the town centre and on Baybarrow field, including the parade of the apple car.

The evening events in the Market Hall start at 6pm with the town band, and include a junior talent contest, junior gurners, pipe smoking, hunting songs, horn blowing, with the World Gurning Championships getting underway at 7pm.

Almost 10,000 people descended on the town for last year’s Crab Fair. Among them was TV presenter Michaela Strachan, who beat seven other gurners to win the ladies’ world champion gurning contest at her first attempt.

It is not yet known if she will return to defend her title, although she has already returned her trophy.

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