Keep Calm and Carry On at The Chap Olympics 2011

by Katie on July 18, 2011

To say that it was raining on the day of the Annual Chap Olympics was an understatement.  I cowered in my flat waiting for a break in the weather:  I waited and waited and eventually dived out in the 5 minutes of brightness and ‘non-rain’ straight into the faltering weekend London Transport system which tries its level best to dissuade Londoners from travelling by its series of traffic hold ups, roadworks in major thoroughfares and weekend tube line cancellations.  Boris, you’re not making it easy for us pre ‘the other’ much talked about Olympics.


Heading on, I eventually made it to the Chap Olympics, held each year in Bedford Square which becomes home to the beautifully dressed and elegantly mannered chaps and chapesses hell bent on having a good time come rain or shine. 

Picnic things were much in evidence with many Union Flags and full tableware in some cases despite the rain.  Indeed, the constant downpours made these games better as it dissuaded the ‘riff raff’ with fake stick on moustaches and feather boas from attending.  The newly formed ‘Vintage Mafia’ were in attendance, each bedecked in a customer made, resplendent coloured swirl dress (by Shona at Heyday Vintage) and their initial stamped ‘Laverne & Shirley’ like to identify the wearer. 


Packed with a die-hard Chap following, diving under the cover of pavilions and clutching umbrellas, the vintage crowd still drank as much fizz and Pimms, laughed as much and mingled furiously posing for the numerous TV teams and international journalists hastily snapping every outfit and shenanigan – and boy were there plenty. 



The roguish Atters in his Terry Thomas’esque guise insisted in making the acquaintance of every young lady while dashing army officers and tweed clad fellows rushed gallantly rushed to their aid.


The games themselves, devised by my good friend Torquil Arbuthnot who admits his brainchild came when he was “drunk in the pub”, involve The Hop, Skip and G&T, Shouting at Foreigners, Umbrella Jousting, Butler Baiting and Ironing Board Surfing along with the ladies’ favourite, ‘Competitive Swooning’.  Only in England could the winners be award their victory medals and invited for a winning sashay as running is clearly much too uncouth.  Tsk.




Personally, I abide by rule no 8 in the Chap code: Thou Shalt Never Wear Plimsolls When Not Doing Sport.  Nor even when doing sport.  Which you shouldn’t be doing anyway.  Except cricket.



Gustav Temple, the debonair Editor of The Chap magazine (pictured above with the lovely  @redlegsinsoho wearing sky blue) states, “We encourage cheating – sportsmanship is not The Chap way.  Points are awarded for panache not talent”.  Witness the gorgeous redhead who flashed a comely ankle in seamed silk stockings to distract her Chap competitors in one of the games and romped home to victory before the menfolk – cheered on by all the chapesses.  That’s the way to do it.  If only it were that simple in real life.  *sigh*


The only casualties of the Chap Olympics (apart from numerous next day hangovers) were my shoes (binned due to the mud and heel damage) and my gorgeous Lady Caron perfume, lost in one of the high jinks at the events.  Aaah well, it was worth it for one of the most truly memorable days of the year steeped in British humour and spirit.

Did you attend the Chap Olympics this year?  What did you think of the Games? Let me know what you think in the comment box below.  Thanks.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

RedlegsinSoho July 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

loved it as ever! xxx

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That's Not My Age July 18, 2011 at 10:35 am

Looks fab and I would have gone but the weather was shite!

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