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ONCE A YEAR 1970s BRITISH FOLKLORE

Goathland Plough Stots. Goathland Yorkshire UK  Sword Dance Team 1972.<br />
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This interesting custom would not exist if it had not been revived by F. W. Dowson in 1923 after a lapse of nearly sixty years. Apart from a break in the second world war, the custom has carried on since then. The traditional date for its performance was plough Monday, or first Monday after Twelfth Night (6 January), which by tradition was the first day of the agricultural labourers’ week’s holiday. However, after 1947 this day was changed to the first Saturday after plough Monday. In northern Middle English 'stot' meant a bullock, but the word has been transferred to the youths who drag a bullock about in the Plough Monday procession. According to the traditional custom this was led by a 'Lord' and 'Lady' followed by a group of men in disguise, known as 'Toms', who made a collection. Next came the sword-dancers and musicians and taking up the rear<br />
were the plough stots, with 'Betty' carrying a broom, and 'Old Isaac' collecting alms. The whole procession could number as many as forty people. During the week's holiday they first toured their own village and then the ones near by, especially those that had no team. At various places in each village the sword-dancers performed and a collection was made. Donations were expected and if they were not forthcoming the farmer ran the risk of having his lawn ploughed up. At the end of the week it was the custom to hold a festival and dance, to which the women folk were invited. Expenses were met out of the funds collected during the week and the remaining money divided up between the performers.
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Goathland Plough Stots. Goathland Yorkshire UK Sword Dance Team
Goathland Plough Stots. Goathland Yorkshire UK Sword Dance Team 1972.

This interesting custom would not exist if it had not been revived by F. W. Dowson in 1923 after a lapse of nearly sixty years. Apart from a break in the second world war, the custom has carried on since then. The traditional date for its performance was plough Monday, or first Monday after Twelfth Night (6 January), which by tradition was the first day of the agricultural labourers’ week’s...
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Filename: Goathland Sword dance men dancing Goathland North York Moors Whitby Yorkshire England 12980s .jpg
Size: 5197x3428 / 6.5MB
From gallery: ONCE A YEAR 1970s BRITISH FOLKLORE
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Date: 17 Mar 2011
Location: Goathland and Whitby Yorkshire UK
Credit: HOMER SYKES
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Property Release: No
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Keywords:
  • Sword dance
  • dancing
  • Goathland Plough Stots
  • Whitby
  • Yorkshire
  • January
  • ENGLAND
  • BRITAIN
  • UK
  • BRITISH
  • ENGLISH
  • ARCHIVE STOCK
  • 1970s
  • 70s
  • 1972
  • Folklore
  • annual event
  • Folk custom

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