Bank holiday Britain

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The Independent Online

Desperate not to miss an important cricket match between his village and its local rival, it was the liberal politician and banker Sir John Lubbock who introduced the August bank holiday in 1871. 139 years later, up and down the country, the end-of-summer weekend break is the preserve of a far more eclectic range of hobbyists and sports people.

The annual bog-snorkelling championship in Llanwrtyd Wells enjoyed its 35th year yesterday. Many competitors turned up in fancy dress for the 120-yard swim through the leech-infested bog. In Portsmouth, floating dinosaurs, goldfish and octopuses filled the sky at the International Kite Festival on Southsea Common .

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the first day of the Notting Hill Carnival in west London as sequin-clad dancers paraded through the streets to the sound of Caribbean drums.

Adults and children took part in Sky Ride Leicester, a family-orientated mass cycle ride, and at the British Powerboat Festival at Cowes, Fabio Buzzi and Simon Powell won the the Marathon World Cup Race 1 . A man acting as one of King Henry VIII's Men At Arms entertained visitors to the Tudor tournament at Hampton Court Palace, Surrey , where the jousting, fencing and pageantry continues today.

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