The Egremont Crab fair is probably the most notable of all the Gurning contests held in rural England. The Crab Fair Dates back to 1267 when King Henry II granted the fair a Royal Charter. No one is exactly sure on the origins of gurning, however the Cumberland Pacquet in 1852 (local newspaper) did refer to gurning as an ancient tradition.
Gurning competitions are held regularly however the World Gurning Championship takes place annually at the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria. Peter Jackman is probably the best known gurner, winning the tournemnet four times beginning in 1998 with the face called “Bela Lugosi”. The secret to gurning and that gives most appeal is the lack of teeth…if any, as this provides greater movement of the jaw.