"Old Timer" (1929)


"Old Timer" (Auth.)
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 19th Jan.1929

"The first Monday after Twelfth Day, was until recent times kept as a rustic festival throughout the entire country, and called Plough Monday, the reference being to the resumption of ploughing and farm labour after the long Christmas holidays.

A plough was dressed up with ribbons, and called 'the Fool Plough.' It was drawn by farm labourers also dressed up and in some cases ochred and ruddled. In Notts they were known as 'plough bullocks,' and in Lincolnshire there was a good deal of cowhorn blowing. Merry mummers sometimes performed a traditional play, and never failed to go round with the traditional money-box.

According to old authorities, the money so collected was in ancient times used to maintain a 'ploughman's light' in the village church. But in time the procession degenerated and when it died out on the outskirts of Nottingham about 50 years ago, it was merely a pretext for collecting money for a 'booze up' at the nearest public-house. The so-called 'plough bullocks' rubbed their faces with soot and went round with lanterns and sticks looking more like foot-pads than mummers"

Index Terms:

Locations: Notts.; Lincs.
Years: Ceased about 1879; Publ. 1929
Subjects: Play; Plough Trailing; Plough Light; Plough Monday; "Fool Plough"; "Plough Bullocks"; "Ploughman's Light"; Mummers; Cowhorn Blowing
Archives: TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00197;
Local Notes & Queries Scrapbook, 1926-29, pp.134

* indicates data that has not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.

Last Updated Oct 2004 by Idwal Jones.