Bibliography of Nottinghamshire Folk Plays & Related Customs

Newark Advertiser (1896)

Source:
[Anon. (Auth.)]
BALDERTON.- PLOUGH MONDAY
Newark Advertiser, 15th Jan.1896, Vol.44, No.2118, p.5 f

"Last Monday, being the first after twelth day, was Plough Monday..." Previously there used to be a plough procession, when a plough was dressed with ribbon and other decorations and dragged along from house to house by 'plough bullocks'.

On this occasion, during the early part of the day, youngsters as young as 9 or 10, with "grimy faces and other disfigurements" stopped passers by and visited houses with a request of "Please remember the poor owd plough boy!"

At night the "genuine plough boys" - also called "morris dancers" - visited houses and performed a play. The plot of the play is described:

"The caste consists of which included a clown, a soldier, a waggoner, a lady(?) and a doctor, besides one or two others. To those who admit them into their houses they willingly go through their performance, which lasts about ten minutes. First comes the clown, who, after reciting in verse, as a sort of prologue, to the tune of 'Billy Barlow,' he is quickly followed by the soldier, in scarlet uniform, with forage cap jauntily worn on the side of the head and from which hang recruiting ribbons. Next comes the waggoner with whiip in hand, and plentifully bedecked with ornamental horse brasses. After being enlisted by the solder, the 'lady' appears on he scene, and an altercation ensues, when she is laid prostrate by a whack from the waggoner. A scene ensues and a doctor is sent for who arrives clad in a black tailed coat, with very much tail, a silk hat, and kid gloves. After reciting the numerous wonderful cures he has wrought, he essays to try his hand on the prostrate lady, and feeling the pulse, which he discovers somewhere near the nape of the neck, he declares her to be very low, in fact, he says she could not be any lower unless there was a hole (pronounced 'hoal' dug underneath her. Upon the administration of a whole box of pills - box included - she recovers, and the whole join in a song and dance, which concludes with a solicitation for a 'little of your money and a drink of your good beer.' All ends happily, and the dancers depart with a song, in which is expressed the wishes the host my have 'a happy new year, a pocket full of money, and a cellar full of beer.' A visit is then made to another house, and it is seldom, if not admitted, they are turned away without a contribution being placed in the cap."

Index Terms:
Locations: Balderton, Notts. (SK8151)
Years: Perf. 1896
Subjects: Play; Plough Trailing; Malicious Ploughing; House Visiting; Plough Monday; Plough Bullocks; Morris Dancers; Clown; Soldier; Waggoner; Lady; Doctor
Archives: Ref.: TD00093

Indexed by Idwal Jones. Last updated Jul.2004

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