Spend a day at the Hot Water Bottle Museum, Wilts

Find out why black fruit pastilles are always the most popular, no matter what they taste of
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The Independent Culture
EASTER BANK holiday today! Yes, it's time to get in the car again and wander endlessly up and down the British Isles looking for something to do! Well, wander no more, as today I bring you a helpful list of some of the more off-beat attractions on offer this Eastertide!

The Site of the Battle of Newbury Bypass

John Prescott has recently decided that in the absence of any modern battles on British soil, future generations will be equally fascinated by passages of civil disobedience in the late 20th century. Accordingly, he has declared the area near Newbury, where protesters came to blows with road contractors and their security people, to be a part of the national heritage, and ordered that the site should be preserved from development. It is open to the public for the first time this Easter holiday weekend.

Scrofula - A Celebration!

There are many bodies dedicated to health, fitness and exercise, but only the Sealed Flask believes in the celebration of ancient plagues and diseases, which they do by re-enacting great epidemics of the past. Today there is a day-long pageant to the famous King's Illness. Free health insurance is offered to all paying visitors.

The Fruit Pastille Museum, Cumbria

Believed to be the world's first museum devoted to the art of fruit pastille making, this sweet-toothed cornucopia is housed in an old fruit pastille foundry, which has been disused since 1906 and is now restored to full working order. See the boiling vats of green, orange and yellow fruit treacle! Discover how the pastilles have been made for centuries without the use of wine! Find out why the black pastille is always the most popular, no matter what it tastes of! Open all day for sale of fruit pastilles, also newspapers, cigarettes, ice creams and soft drinks.

The Great Millennium Shropshire Egg-Roll

The traditional egg-rolling ceremony at Winchknock Hill, which has been in abeyance for a century or two, has been revived this year with a modern twist - there will be a contest between those who think that free-range eggs roll best and those who think that the modern battery egg can hold its own in a rolling situation. Separate races for goose eggs, duck eggs etc, and a special new category this year for ostrich eggs. The afternoon will end with a grand omelette feast.

Vinegar Museum, Kenilworth

Believed to be the world's first museum devoted to the art of vinegar- making, this Midlands trea- sure-store is housed in an old vinegar mill recently restored to working order. You can taste over a hundred different fruit-flavoured vinegars. The water-powered vinegar wheel will be in use today.

The Real Farm Experience, Beggie Farm, Clackmannan

Hamish Wishart, a Scottish farmer of 40 years standing, is making a stand against all those farm trails and "farm experiences" which claim to give the outsider a taste of farm life. His farm experience is entirely indoors and clerical, and takes the visitor through three hours of VAT-form filling, quota applications, invoice filing, bank overdraft negotiations and regulation reading. If the visitor gets through that satisfactorily, he may be allowed out into the farm for a short while. Therapists and counsellors on hand.

Police Fun Car Chase Extravaganza

The police are keenly aware that many accidents and road deaths these days are caused by police cars racing to the scenes of other crimes. This is because civilians will insist on getting in the way. So, for this Easter Monday jamboree the police are staging a special series of high- speed chases in which only police cars are involved. They will be sealing off the back streets of a yet-to-be-named Northern town and squealing round it after each other at speeds in excess of 90mph.

The Hot Water Bottle Museum, near Melksham, Wilts

Believed to be the country's first museum devoted entirely to the history of hot water bottles, this showcase is housed in an old hot water bottle rubber mill, active as recently as 1887 and has been restored to full working order by the Night Comfort Society. There are exotic "hotties" from all around the world, including American examples from the Prohibition days designed to keep illicit moonshine in, and exquisite Japanese bottles which are transparent for the display of miniature tropical fish. Follow the signs to WarmthWorld.