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PR 558

HAMPSHIRE'S HOG HAS A HOME

The winners of Hampshire County Council's summer design and drawing competition to give Hampshire's hog a home have been presented with their prizes.

The competition, organised by the County Council's Winchester Information Centre, for young people in the Winchester area was split into three age categories. Five year old Lewis Hand, from Eastleigh, won the age group 4 - 6 years, eight year old Alex Witts from Winchester won the 7 - 9 years group, and 11-year-old Rachel Darlison also from Winchester won the 10 - 12 years group.

The winning trio were presented with their prize of a cycle helmet, donated by the County Council's Road Safety Team, by the Executive Member for Education Councillor Don Allen. Rachel was the overall winner of the competition and also received family tickets from the Council's Milestones Museum in Basingstoke and Manor Farm Country Park in Bursledon.

Councillor Allen said: "The Hampshire hog has been associated with the county for hundreds of years and it is wonderful to see our history brought to life by this competition.

"Lewis, Alex and Rachel have worked hard on their design and created some very imaginative homes for the hog and I would like to congratulate them and all the other young people who entered this competition. We received some wonderful pictures and paintings and hope that everyone enjoyed taking part."

ENDS

Notes for Editors
It is unknown when the Hampshire Hog was first associated with Hampshire. The first pictures are on the coins of Verica (c 10-40 A.D.), which show a boar on the reverse. He was a South Belgic King who ruled a district which included Hampshire.

By the eighteenth century the term became well established, but even then the origins seem to have been obscure. A mock heroic poem Hoglandia or a Description of Hampshire was first published in 1709. This provides a legendary story that the gods, being enraged at the people who lived in the area of Hampshire sent a wild boar to them which devastated the countryside. Ultimately the Hampshirities in desperation, developed great skill in taming the animal and thus became associated with it.

By 1790 the term had found its way into the dictionary. Francis Grose in A Provincial Glossary defined the Hampshire hog as a jocular appellation for a Hampshire man; Hampshire being famous for a fine breed of hogs, and the excellency of the bacon made there."

However, there is no doubt that most people who still use the nick-name A Hampshire Hog think of a pig and the most popular belief as to the origins of this association is simply that Hampshire bacon has always been amongst the finest produced in England.

For further information please contact: Andrea Smith on 01962 847368
andrea.l.smith@hants.gov.uk

10/10/2003

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