Nottinghamshire Local History Council Collection (1960, A.E.Bealby)
Mrs. Alice Elizabeth Bealby (Auth.)
MEMORIES OF A VILLAGER [Plough Monday Play at North Collingham, Notts.]
Nottinghamshire Local History Council Collection,
Written 6th Feb.1960, Ref.DD/121/1/20, 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
She said one of the 'Plough Jags' as they were called, would come to the door
'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
'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.
North Collingham, Notts. (SK8362)
Col. 1960; Born 1880
Essay; Plough Monday; Play; Plough Jags; Songs; Text Fragments; Malicious Ploughing
Nottinghamshire Local History Council (Col.)
TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00417
Last Updated Mar 1992 by Peter Millington.