"John Granby" (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Old Christmas customs still survive in Notts.
*Nottingham Guardian Journal,
Article on Christmas customs extant in Nottinghamshire.
"...until recently musicians and *'guisers' in fantastic attire were
to be heard and seen at Weston-on-Trent as the mummers were in the
Norwell district on Christmas Eve."
"*'GUYSER' – Here we see the use of the word 'Guiser.' It was used by
W.H.Lawrence [sic] in the story he wrote around this custom of dressing
up and which appeared in the Weekly Guardian of 1907 under the name of
Jessie Chambers of Haggs Farm. It was Lawrence's first published work –
and the story submitted in his own name was returned. He used this ruse
to submit more than one entry because the conditions of the competition
stipulated one only. The story was reprinted in the Christmas Weekly of
December 1949. 'Guyser' is the form used by Lawrence."
Plough Monday falls on the Monday after Twelfth Night
and although villagers no longer perambulate with a plough in quest of
pence for the maintenance of the 'ploughman's light' in their parish
church the custom has been revived in modernised form in which the old
folk-drama has been retained.
About half-a-century ago Mrs. L. Chaworth-Musters reintroduced it at
Wiverton, Caunton copied it; in 1935 the Boy Scouts performed the
traditional play at East Markham and in 1939 it was resuscitated at
Tollerton. The plough is represented by pieces of shaped paper, the
actors are lavishly tricked out with beribboned fancy costumes, 'Bessie'
is still a boy in feminine guise; the quack doctor restores the slain
man to life, and wooden swords and humorous buffonery prevailed as of yore."
'W.H.Lawrence' is evidently a misprint for D.H.Lawrence.
Weston-on-Trent, Derbys. (SK4027); Norwell, Notts. (SK7761); Wiverton, Notts. (SK7136); Caunton, Notts. (SK7460); East Markham, Notts. (SK7472); Tollerton, Notts. (SK6134)
*Play; Ploughman's Lights; Guisers; Guiser; Guyser; Mummers; Christmas Eve; Plough Monday; Costumes; Lawrence,W.H. (1907); Lawrence,D.H. (1907); Chaworth-Musters,L. (1890); Bessie; Quack Doctor; Boy Scouts
William Elliott Doubleday (Auth.); W. H. Lawrence (Auth.); David Herbert Lawrence (Auth.); Mrs. L. Chaworth-Musters (Auth.); Mrs. Lina Chaworth-Musters (Auth.); Mrs. Caroline Anne Chaworth-Musters (Auth.)
TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00053;
Local Notes & Queries Scrapbook, 1959-60, p.38
* indicates data that has not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.
Last Updated Jul 2004 by Idwal Jones.