The Widecombe Mummers - Creating a Tradition
The Widcombe Mummers were founded in 2005 following 2 sightings by me of the Marshfield Paper Boys. One had been at their traditional performance spot on Boxing Day, and the other had been after a mid-summer encounter at the English Country Music event in 2005, where I also attended a talk by Doc Rowe. I went home thinking this would be good to do in Widcombe, my part of Bath. Without going into the organisational and artistic detail of the difficulties encountered and overcome of getting it off the ground, I will just say that we did our first performance on New Year's Day in 2006 to great acclaim, which led to one of the participants saying to me afterwards, Well done, Ian, you have created a tradition!' We have performed every year on New Year's Day since then, varying the script to incorporate some topical local talking point, and varying the music and songs. In addition to this continuing and strengthening tradition we have also been incorporated into other peoples' celebrations and traditions, of which I will just mention that the council has used us for celebrating St George's Day with a specially written script incorporating the dragon and Egyptian princess referred to in our regular script.
About the author
Ian Gilchrist: resident of Bath for 30+ years, currently a city councillor and Deputy Mayor. He founded Widcombe Mummers.