Retford & Gainsborough Times (1900)


[Anon.] (Auth.)
WORKSOP COMMENTS [Christmas Morris Dance and Mummers]
Retford & Gainsborough Times, 5th Jan.1900, No.1549, p.7a-b

"Most of the Christmas customs have been observed this year at Worksop, but it is evident that many of them are dying out. Christmas used to begin on St. Thomas's Day, when women went about with baskets asking for contributions. Only a few were at it this year. The doles were paid out as usual at the Priory Church - at least I don't know that this custom has been abolished since last year. The 'mummers' had their round as usual but this old custom has fallen into the hands of very small boys, who murder St. George, the Slasher and all else in a frightful manner. Th'Owd Hoss and T'Little Tup are done for in the same way, and those Christmas pleasantries are now almost devoid of interest because of the way in which they are done. Time was when 'big chaps' gave their performances at Christmas. Many of the bands were not only effectively dressed but considerable talent was shown. The striking and artistic Morris Dance has all but disappeared with the close of the century. 'Waits' and carol singers had no little amount of pride in their work. But the fiddles, bases and reed instruments have been 'hung up' and a vile concertina or mouth organ has taken their places.

Christmas and New Year customs at the beginning of the century were different from those at the close. There is not a soul living in North Notts to tell us how Christmas and the New Year were spent in the cottage homes in the year 1800. In fact, it would be impossible to keep Christmas now as it was then, because the whole of our surroundings have totally changed. Nothing remains the same except roast beef, plum pudding, holly, ivy and mistletoe."

Index Terms:

Locations: Worksop, Notts. (SK5879)
Years: Perf. 1900
Subjects: Play; Morris Dance; Mummers; Christmas; T'Owd Hoss; T'Little Tup; St. George; Slasher; St. Thomas's Day; Doles; Waits; Carol Singers
Archives: TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00228

Last Updated Apr 2005 by Dave Crowther.