Weston-on-Trent (SK4027), Derbyshire

Nottinghamshire Guardian (1907)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, Christmas 1907

States; " Christmas Eve several groups of young people visited the homes of the villagers and sung the popular Christmas carols. The guisers were also in evidence in their fantastic dress, and in true rustic fashion acted their play. The Aston-on-Trent Brass Band paraded the village about midnight and also on Christmas afternoon, and rendered seasonable selections. On the evening of Christmas Day, in the Wesleyan Chapel, a programme of solos, recitations, and readings was rendered, a collection being made on behalf of Dr. Stephenson's Children's Homes and Orphanages."

"J.Granby" (1949a)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
*Local Notes and Queries: Winter customs
Nottinghamshire Guardian, 17th Dec.1949, No.5457, p.10 a

Mentions Going a gooding on St. Thomas's Day, lingering up to 1936 in Caunton, Notts., and a birth custom, [evidently a reference to D.H.Brooksbank (1936)]. Also mentions guysers and mummers in Weston-on-Trent and Norwell at Christmas Eve up to the Second World War.

"J.Granby" (1952b)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
Local Notes and Queries: PLOUGH MONDAY'S PLAYS.: Part II
Nottinghamshire Guardian, 12th Jan.1952, No.5565, p.11 b

Crams a lot into three paragraphs. Says that the hobby horse was common on Plough Monday at Mansfield, Cuckney and Elkesley, Notts., until about 1870. Summarises M.W.Barley (1951) - again mis-cited as M.W.Bramley. Mentions the Cropwell/Wiverton play in Chaworth-Musters (1890), recent observances at East Markham and Weston-on-Trent, and the likelihood of Newstead and Southwell as good areas to collect. Ends by citing P.Crawford's (1938) "In England Still"

W.E.D. (1958)

W. E. D. (Auth.)
Local traditions and the story of Christmas
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 27th Dec.1958

Article quotes W.Howitt (1838) and other Christmas customs.

"Yet, by survival or revival, guising (mumming) is popular around Norwell and at Weston-on-Trent today, or was until a few years ago; the Plough Monday play has been resuscitated at Tollerton and other villages..."

"J.Granby" (1960b)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Old Christmas customs still survive in Notts.
*Nottingham Guardian Journal, 24th Dec.1960

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.

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