Official World Nettle Eating Competition
• Nettles first came to the fore at the Bottle Inn in Marshwood, Dorset around 1986 when two farmers were having an argument as to who had the longest nettles on their land. The Landlady then was Francis Vincent who commented “What makes you to think you have the longest nettles, we’ll have a competition open to every one in the area and we’ll see who has the longest nettles”!!
• The Longest Stinging Nettle Competition was born.
• The competition had been running for three years when local hospital porter and Ex Guardsman, Alex Williams entered a stinging nettles 15’6” long, he said at the time “If anybody beats that I’ll eat it. an American couple on holiday staying in the area came up with a nettle 16’ long and Alex true to his word, promptly ate the nettle!! (though to this day, he disputes the measurement) After that traditionally if Alex didn’t win the competition, he ate the winners Nettle.
• In 1997, when Shane Pym came to Bottle Inn, he decided to have a musical celebration of the Summer Solstice, the idea being a kind of Medieval Fayre with jugglers, stilt walkers etc.
One night at the bar looking for something as a side show to the event that was called Midsummer Madness it was suggested to Alex that we might sit in a corner of the beer garden and challenge anybody to eat more nettles than he could. As Alex pointed out throughout the course of the day he was likely to consume a great deal of stinging nettles, therefore it was decided to run a competition calling it the World Stinging Nettle Eating Challenge and putting Alex forward as pub Champion. Thus was the Stinging Nettle Eating Challenge born. It has been a successful competition gaining much media interest over the Years.
• Alas there was no competition in 2011 due to the old pub being closed yet again, the 2012 competition is to be held on 14th July.
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