Serving up memories of ostrich pancakes in Hartlepool

Geoff Stevens helps Nick Young to prepare for his pancake challenge.
Geoff Stevens helps Nick Young to prepare for his pancake challenge.

Not long now until we all go flipping mad once more.

But what about this for a Shrove Tuesday event with-a-difference from a bygone era when pancake-eating took on a tasty twist.

Julie Saunders and Kevin Connolly at the Quayside Cafe which was serving up pancake treats in 1997.

Julie Saunders and Kevin Connolly at the Quayside Cafe which was serving up pancake treats in 1997.

It was one man’s attempt to really give the record – for the most pancakes eaten in an hour – a battering.

Shrove Tuesday is on March 5 this year but let’s take a look at a year when Hartlepool really did get into the flavour of the event.

In 1997, there was a “host of daft events” to mark the occasion, said the Hartlepool Mail at the time.

And perhaps the most unique was the one which featured Nick Young’s attempts to chomp through sweet and savoury pancakes to raise money for Hartlepool and District Hospice.

There was only one word to describe how Mr Young felt after his hour-long session – full

Hartlepool Mail reporter, 1997

Nick, from Young’s Fisheries in Seaton Carew, would have an adjudicator from the hospice to keep him company and watch his record attempt.

It would be no easy feat. He hoped to chomp through dozens of them and there to keep him topped up with supplies was Geoff Stevens, the owner of the Albert House restaurant in 1997.

Nick was certainly up for the challenge.

And no matter how he did, he was planning to take part in a pancake race against fellow Seaton Carew business men and women later the same day.

But how did he do?

Nick managed 35 pancakes and a grand total of two and a half pints of milk, four eggs, and one and a half pounds of flour went into making them.

The Hartlepool Mail report at the time said: “There was only one word to describe how Mr Young felt after his hour-long session – full.”

Albert House was certainly getting into the spirit of the occasion. They had 40 different varieties of pancakes available that day including Mediterranean vegetable, or melon, ginger and fresh cream.

But Seaton was not the only place where people were putting in a big pancake effort that year.

Tesco in town was the venue for a series of races with staff, customers and firefighters all joining in the fun.

It pitted Tesco workers against fire personnel from Stranton Fire Station and also saw youngsters from West View Primary school getting involved.

Who remembers the event and did you take part? Get in touch and tell us more by emailing chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk

Elsewhere in town, pancakes were also on the menu at the Historic Quay Coffee Shop and there was one variety which got a lot of attention – the Crepe Big Chick.

According to the Mail at the time, it was made from ostrich steak and a rich sauce based on an old aborigine recipe.

There was crepe buffalo as well but perhaps the most popular of them all was the Cadbury’s eggstravaganza. It was a pancake served with two cream eggs on top.

But what are your memories of Shrove Tuesday and pancake events down the years?

Email chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk and let’s share some wonderful memories.