Bibliography of Nottinghamshire Folk Plays & Related Customs

Nottinghamshire Archives Collection (1960, A.E.Bealby)

Source:
Mrs. Alice Elizabeth Bealby (Auth.)
MEMORIES OF A VILLAGER [Plough Monday Play at North Collingham, Notts.]
Nottinghamshire Archives Collection, Written 6th Feb.1960, Ref.DD121/1/20, 3pp.

Entry to an essay competition on old village life at North Collingham, Notts. It includes the following;

"The observance of Plough Monday is worthy of mention. Sometimes a small group of farm employees would prepare a play (or perhaps 'sketch' would be the better word.) which they would perform at the bigger farm houses on Plough Monday evening. My Mother recalled some if it to me and it must have been interesting to watch.

She said one of the 'Plough Jags' as they were called, would come to the door singing:-

'Good master and good mistress when you're sitting by the fire,
Please think of us poor Ploughboys outside in mud and mire.'

Grandma would open the door to find a man in motley garb, who would enter and says:-

'Here comes I who've never been before.
'Seven merry actors are waiting at the door.
'Some can dance and some can sing.
'And if you give consent they will all walk in.'

On entering they would sing:-

'God bless the master of this house,
'Likewise the mistress too,
'And all the little children
'That round the table go.'

Then would follow a short play or sketch, after which one man would say 'I'm hungry.' Another would say 'I'm dry,'

Another 'I'd like a drop of your beer and a bit of your pork pie.

These comestibles having been produced, they would sing in chorus:-

'Good health to the man who kills a pig and sends his
neighbour a fry,
'Washed down with a drop of best brewed ale and a thumping big pork pie.'

After the play, a collection was taken. If they thought the amount too small, they would often run a plough through the lawn or lift a gate off its hinges and carry it away, thus causing trouble. These tricks brought them into disrepute and gradually the annual sojourn of the 'Plough Jags' ceased altogether. There was often talent in the party however, many having good voices and enough musical talent to play accordians, fiddles and Jews' harps as well."

Mrs. Bealby was born on the 19th May 1880.

Index Terms:
Locations: North Collingham, Notts. (SK8362)
Years: Col. 1960; Born 1880
Subjects: Essay; Plough Monday; Play; Plough Jags; Songs; Text Fragments; Malicious Ploughing
People: Nottinghamshire Local History Council (Col.)
Archives: Ref.: TD00417

Indexed by Peter Millington. Last updated Mar.1992

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