Honestly, This Part of England
Has the World's Biggest Liars
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - NOVEMBER 25, 2011
SANTON BRIDGE, England—In this tiny village last week, Glen
Boylan came to spin stories in a local pub, as the English are
wont to do. On a rain-lashed night, Mr. Boylan's tale involved
being offered a mayonnaise and peanut butter sandwich by a good
Samaritan—Prince Charles—who happened to be passing
through. read article
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Way back in the 19th Century, a famous Cumbrian called Will Ritson
(1808-1890) was the popular publican who lived at the head of the
Wasdale Valley in the English Lake District.
In this remote and
beautiful valley, Will always kept his customers enthralled with
stories of the folk heritage of this delightful area.
The valley was already well-known for having England's deepest
lake (Wastwater), the highest mountain (Scafell Pike), the smallest
Church (Wasdale Head Church) and Will Ritson achieved its fourth
superlative when he became -
" THE WORLD'S BIGGEST LIAR"
Of course, Will was a very sincere and genuine man,
who insisted that all his tales were true. Perhaps the visitors
simply didn't have the level of perception with which Will was bestowed.
Will claimed that the turnips in Wasdale were so big that after
the dalesfolk had "quarried" into them for their Sunday
lunch, they could be used as sheds for the Herdwick Sheep from the
Each year, in November, a contest is held to award
the title of "The Biggest Liar in the World" to the
person who is worthy of following in the footsteps of "Auld
The contest, held at the Bridge Inn, attracts world
wide attention, and in recent years the audience has learned facts
like how the Lake District was formed - not by ice or volcanic
action, but by large moles and eels!