BIGGEST LIAR COMPETITION
is held at The Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge, Cumbria
...for more info check out www.jenningsbrewery.co.uk
It started at the Wasdale Head 30 years
ago in memory of its former
landlord Will Ritson, who used to enthral his customers with tall
In 2011 MARYPORT man Glen Boylan last
night scooped the title of the Worlds Biggest Liar.
In 2008 SILLOTH farmer John Graham has been named the World's Biggest
Liar for the seventh time - honestly.
John, famously known as Johnny Liar, beat of tough competition last night
at the annual event held at Santon Bridge. The event is now staged by
In 2005 Beating competition
from around the world, 49 year old Michael Naylor scooped the
Jennings trophy for the second year running, with tales of Wassie,
the Cumbrian Lake Monster.
The 2004 Contest took place
at the Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge in lower Wasdale on the evening
of Thursday, November 18.
The 2004 winner was Mike Naylor, who brews ale , including his
own Liar Ale at Wasdale's micro brewery.
UNDER the new Foxhunting Bill
any licensed pack must first notify foxes in writing of any planned
Well at least that is what one of the 12 entrants told a sell-out
gathering of the World's Biggest Liar contest2004.
But the judges decided after hearing some excellent tales to
award this year's prize to a man who entered the room in his
best dungarees and green wellies and told the noisy audience
he was Micky Mandela. His true
identity was Mike Naylor, a nephew to previous winner, Jos Naylor.
Mike told the audience and BBC camera crews that he was from
South Africa, but thanks to a Teach Yourself Cumbrian course
he was able to
address the gathering in Cumbrian. He said a local firm called
Bang! No Folk Left (BNFL) were flooding Wasdale and Herdwick
sheep would be replaced by fish farming, monitored by new Defra,
"or should we say
Daftra" organisation, the Ministry of Underwater Fisheries
Wasdale show was to be replaced with spectator events such as
sea horse racing. He did say that residents who's homes were
to be flooded "would be allowed to keep their homes, with
air locks at the door
and cat or dog fish flaps."It was the first time that Mike,
48, had ever entered the competition, which attracts interest
and competitors from around the world.Last year's event ended
in a storm of controversy when South African Abrie Kruger became
the first ever overseas winner. As he lifted the coveted World's
Biggest Liar trophy last night,father-of-three Mike shouted,
"It's ga'an yam, Abrie!" But it was all in good humour
- as Mike, works with Abrie at the Wasdale Head Inn. Landlord of the Wasdale Head Inn, Howard
Christie, was also a
competitor in this year's contest. More
than 120 people from across the country, and as far away as Sweden
and South Africa, packed into The Bridge Inn at Santon Bridge
World's Biggest Liar Competition.
Mike said : "It's the
first lie I have ever told in my
life! It hasn't sunk in yet because I didn't think I was going
win. I just entered for the fun of it and for the laugh. I came
support last year's winner who works with me. He got a bit of
deal last year."
He added: "I was born
at Wasdale Head and everyone always said Will
Ritson was the world's biggest liar, but he was a gentleman.
was always one step ahead of all the people calling him."
James Mason, of Whitehaven,
who won in 1998, came second with a tale that included a line
that Tony Blair had asked local MP Jack Cunningham to "get
him two tickets for the show, but Jack said he got lost in Copeland
it was so long since he had been there!"
Taffy Thomas, taking part for the 10th time, came third.
The judges including the Mayor
coun Bill Southward and his wife Sylvia,
said the standard of entries was exceptionally high and the results
very close. Two entrants "froze" part way through their
great is the stage pressure and compere Charles Maudling said:
takes courage to come up here and lie through your teeth."
The contest all started in the era 1808-1890 when Will Ritson
was the landlord of the Wasdale Inn, set beneath the dark and
dangerous crags of Great Gable and Scafell Pike (England's highest
mountain). He had a reputation for telling porkies or tall tales.
For instance he tried to fool Victorian tourists into believing
turnips in the dale grew so large that farm families quarried
into them for their meals and the hollowed out root crops could
then be used as byres or barns for the Herdwick fell sheep of
the area. In this century the local tourist industry exploited
the folk tale to make the Biggest Liar Contest an annual event.
Contestants have to stand and deliver their tall tales before
a lively audience high on the locally brewed Jennings ales and
a traditional Cumbrian Tattie Pot supper of mutton, black pudding,
potatoes and spicy pickled red cabbage.
Previous winners have included
Howard Christie, the current landlord of the Wastwater Hotel,
which has its own cosy Ritson Bar.
Jim Davies reports from the 2019 contest
List of Previous Winners
1974 - Tom Purdham
1975 - Victor Longridge
1976 - Phil Hazelhurst
1977 - Bruce Porter
1978 - Bruce Porter
1979 - Jos Naylor
1980 - Tom Purdham
1981 - Gordon Hallet
1982 - Jos Naylor
1983 - Bill Armstrong
1984 - Dr. Peter Nuttall
1985 - John Reeves
1986 - Roger Wicks
1987 - Roger Wicks
1988 - John Reeves
1989 - John Reeves
1990 - Reg White
1991 - Reg White
1992 - Derek Martin
1993 - Derek Martin
1994 - John Graham
1995 - John Graham
1996 - John Graham
1997 - Howard Christie
1998 - James Mason
1999 - John Graham
2000 - John Graham
2001 - George Kemp
2002 - George Kemp
2003 - Abrie Kruger
2004 - Mike Naylor
2005 - Mike Naylor
2006 - Sue Perkins