A study by boffins at Cardiff University has debunked the long-held belief that the Welsh walk faster than the English.
For centuries, the assumption has been that, due to Wales, the country, being slightly behind the rest of the United Kingdom in most other things, the Welsh would also be slower walkers, but apparently not!
A sample of 150 English, Northern Irish & Scots tourists visiting were studied in various locations across Wales as they walked to shops, across zebra crossings, and up and down welcoming hillsides.
Glamorgan they bargained for
The results of the study came as a complete shock to the University’s social anthropologists who had expected the English to be the fastest walkers, followed by the Scots, then the Northern Irish, and lastly, the Welsh lagging quite a distance behind the rest. However, after slowly walking around the university green double-checking the data, the results were unambiguous. The Welsh are indeed the fastest walkers in the UK.
The studies were conducted over a three-week period using the ‘catch me if you can’ method whereby a Welsh boffin carrying a clipboard and stopwatch follows an unsuspecting walker having started one-hundred yards behind. The pursuit lasts for five minutes whereafter a final measurement taken by a second boffin determines the distance, and thus the time differential between the follower and the followee, resulting in a definitive ‘walk speed’ comparable with the speeds of walkers of other nationalities. It all quite simple.
So what are the reasons for the Welsh walking at superior speeds to the English, Scots, and Northern Irish? We asked the Lead boffin, Dr Gwyneth Griffindor PhD to explain. “Felly, roedd yn hawdd dilyn y Irish because they were walking towards us. Llai hawdd dilyn yr Scots who were going to the pub. Llai hawdd fyth i ddilyn y English who walked quite stiffly but with purpose. O ran dilyn the Welsh, we just couldn’t keep up at all, didn’t we?”
Manic Street Sign Preachers
One unexpected consequence of the study is that the Welsh tourist board has had to spend £65,000 (Welsh pounds) updating the signage throughout the country to warn all tourists that their walks to local shops, cafes, and more, will take at least two minutes longer than it will the locals.