Brightlingsea people are being asked to pick up their frying pans and stage pancake parties in support of the town’s WinterFest, which aims to bring people together and banish winter gloom.
The idea for the pancake parties came from WinterFest volunteer Jevon Ellis, a musician who moved from London to Brightlingsea two years ago.
His suggestion has been taken up as part of the programme for this year’s WinterFest, which runs throughout February and includes Pancake Day, Tuesday February 25.
It is hoped that parties will be held across the town, in people’s homes, in pubs, restaurants and other venues, adding to WinterFest’s attractions which include music, spoken word, arts, crafts, a wellbeing and fun weekend, a comedy night and a quiz.
Jevon said : “The pancake parties actually started some years ago, when I lived in Barnet, North London.
“One Shrove Tuesday a friend phoned and asked ‘Have you had your pancakes yet?’ I had another friend with me jamming music upstairs, while our mums were chatting downstairs. So we crept down, grabbed the ingredients and made some pancakes without our mums realising. The first they knew was when a pancake was handed to them with a "happy pancake day" greeting."
“We four then all went into the kitchen to cook more. By chance a neighbour popped round and also had some pancakes and so the die was cast. The following year we invited more neighbours and more local friends and, from the success of this, other neighbours started to throw parties. When I came to Brightlingsea I decided to hold a pancake party and invited my new neighbours. It is a great way of fostering friendships and a result some of them have got to know each other a lot better."
Jevon added: “It’s brilliant that the pancake party idea is being taken up by WinterFest and the emphasis is on the wellbeing that comes from bringing people together. I’m also looking forward to a great gig with my band, which features ex-Iron Maiden guitarist Rob Angelo. We will be supported by an original three piece punk band from Colchester called Something Like That.”
People attending the pancake parties will be asked to make donations and money raised in this way and through all WinterFest events will go towards the WinterFest Wellbeing Fund and the mental health charity Mid and North East Essex Mind.
We'll be publishing recipe ideas and locations where you can drop off donations very shortly!