1st of April 2009 @ 19:31 :: The Arts Club, 40 Dover Street, Mayfair (nearest tube: Green Park).
It is yet another revival of another noble tradition - the re-introduction of an Annual Award to the Greatest British Eccentric of the Year.
There have been a few contests of this kind before, however, none of them lasted for more than a couple of years. Yet the phenomenon of practical eccentricity remains an object of interest to a great number of people, both in the UK and abroad.
The Eccentric Club Committee has amongst its members Lyndon Yorke, the winner of the title "Great English Eccentric" of 2001, an aerial surveyor and a mechanical follyologist from Buckinghamshire. It was him who initially suggested the idea of reviving the Annual Award Ceremony, which received a unanimous vote of approval – bringing back such an important annual event would help raising the much needed funding for the Club, which has a number of charitable commitments in the UK.
All nominees for the first contest were suggested by the members of the Eccentric Club Committee, some of the them being actually members of the Eccentric Club, others - friends of the members, but the list also includes public figures, traditionally fascinating the public with their views or conduct, considered by many exceptionally original or even somewhat eccentric!
Along with some famous names, you will discover brand new figures, equally unusual and unique in their views and ways, and certainly extremely popular in some circles for what they are!
As genuine eccentrics traditionally do not see themselves as such (it's how they are perceived by the others), none of the candidates were proposed or nominated by themselves, but now, once they have been nominated, some of them got involved in the Contest with great enthusiasm, bringing along armies of supporters, which makes the event even more exciting!
For all future contests, the nominees will be suggested by members of the public as well as the Club members.
The Official Award Ceremony will be held on the 1st of April at the Arts Club, 40 Dover Street, Mayfair. Panel of judges is expected to include Lyndon Yorke, Henry Hemming (the celebrated author of "In Search of the English Eccentric") and the famous eccentricologist Ben Le Vay (author of numerous ‘eccentric guides’ to towns and cities across the UK). It is also expected that a few surprise celebrities may be both amongst the guests and the judges of this event.
In times, when we talk so much of re-discovering and re-inventing British national identity, it is good to be reminded of brave and original characters of British eccentrics who are the salt of this land’s earth.