Mummers the Word!

Hello everyone, and happy Sunday!

Well, it’s been a while since I posted anything – busy busy busy with much business!

That means that I haven’t had chance to post about the fantastic LONG COMPANY MUMMERS! For those who haven’t come across mumming before, it’s a tradition involving the performance of a play around specific themes – involving a battle between St George and the Prince of Paradine (the baddie!) They have a battle and St George is slain (boooo!) but a doctor appears who revives him and he defeats the Prince of Paradine. Different versions have other characters and  sub-plots … ours involves Common Jack, a representative of the ‘working class’, and Beelzebub! Mummers plays have been performed in this format since the mid 18th Century, usually around pubs or house-to-house, and were often a means of agricultural workers collecting money to supplement meagre incomes during winter.

Anyway – our Ryburn 3 Step ‘Long Company’ Mummers Play happens each year on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th January at various venues in the Ryburn Valley with the play outside and then a session in the pub afterwards. As with many of the things we do, it’s closely aligned to the seasons – in the same way as dancing the Morris at dawn on May-Day to welcome summer, and is a major part of our year.

If you want to actually see what I mean, have a look at this footage from a few years ago on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whXGEt_OF5Y

Also, last night we ran the monthly Ryburn 3 Step Ceilidh at Waring Green Community Centre. The ceilidh is one of the events that we run – in addition to a monthly Folk Club (the 4th Wednesday in the month at The Works in Sowerby Bridge) as well as Appalachian stepping groups, Longsword and Rapper and a singing group. This gig was especially good, as the band was one of Jon’s bands: Heretique, and in the absence of many of the usual committee members, I was managing the stage and front of house. It was really great to be able to actually go to one of Jon’s gigs, because usually these days I can’t go on the road with him on a ‘school night’, and I really miss it. He was in Derby on Thursday with a good friend of ours – Paul Scourfield and I was so sad not to have been there, so last night was a nice treat!

Anyway … back to my ongoing themes: The ‘outdoor’ pictures for this blog were taking this afternoon in Hebden Bridge, in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire where we went this afternoon for a wander around and a coffee (the cake was Jon’s I hasten to add!) I’ve been working so hard recently and needed to get out for a couple of hours, and Hebden Bridge is always a go-to spot for a break. Here you go:

I’m especially pleased with the red door – took a bit of lining up as there was a road in between me and the building, but when I saw it I just had to take it. Likewise with the cake – good job Jon is pretty laid-back about my idiosyncrasies. There aren’t too many people who’d be ok about the idea of being given cake on the condition that the giver spends ten minutes photographing it in the middle of the coffee shop first!

And, as to the knitting. Not been so productive of late because of all the other things going on, but I have bought some gorgeous new yarn (and discovered a delicious new wool shop in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire! That could prove expensive!). Anyway here’s a couple of photo’s of my most recently completed square – I’m not too sure about this, as the hexagon that is worked into the panel in moss stitch hasn’t come through so well (in ‘real life’ as well as on the photo). I might do another of this pattern and use another colour to pick out the details – you live and learn! The other photo’s are of the lovely, lovely yarn I’m using at the moment. Not doing anything too complicated with it as the colours need to speak for themselves, but hopefully I’ll have something completed to show you before too long, it really is gorgeous yarn to work with!

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Filed under Folk Music, Knitting and Outdoors

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