Helpringham (TF1340), Lincolnshire

British Broadcasting Corporation Collection (1953, Robinson et al)

Mr. Robinson (Inf.); Mrs. Green (Inf.); Mr. Martin (Inf.); Mr. Thurlby (Inf.); Mr. Saundby (Inf.); Mr. Hollingsworth (Inf.); C. H. Aram (Col.); Peter D. Kennedy (Col.)
*[Plough Monday play from Helpringham, Lincs.]
*British Broadcasting Corporation, Sound Archives, 26th Mar.1953, Record Nos. 19033-4

*Sound recording of a Plough Monday play (Morris Dance) from Helpringham, Lincs. as performed by "Morris Men" about 1900. The characters were: Leader, Tom Fool, Recruiting Sergeant, Lady Bright and Gay, Ploughboy/Farmers Man, Bellzebub, and Doctor. The play ended with a broom dance.

M.W.Barley (1954)

M. W. Barley (Auth.)
Journal of the English Folk Dance & Song Society, Dec.1954, Vol.7, No.3, p.184

Supplementing his 1953 paper (see TD00015), Barley states:

"The Donington document (pp.70-71): It is quite plain that this refers not to a Plough play, but possibly to a Mystery, as Miss Alford and Miss Dean-Smith have remarked.

Tunes (pp.77-78): In addition to the wassail song the Tollerton Plough play includes a song sung by the Recruiting Sergeant, 'Come all you lads that's bound for listing...'

Morris dancers (p.79, lines 8-9 and p.86, n.5): It appears that it might be wrong to regard the Lincolnshire instances of Plough Boys calling themselves Morris dancers as merely the result of popular confusion. 'Morris dancers' made their last appearance at Burgh le Marsh at Christmas, 1886 (MS. History of Burgh le Marsh by C.Brears, p.48, Nottingham University Library). Mr. Aram of Helpringham, Lincs., has stated that 'the Morris dancers went round with the Plough Boys; they used broomsticks to dance with'. I understand the Mrs. Barbara Lowe intends to deal with this and other similar evidence in a study of the early Morris. (Editor's note: See page 186 of this Journal)."

C.H.Aram (1956/1957)

C. H. Aram (Auth.)
"Ipsy, Pipsy, Palsy, Gout" [Plough Monday play from Helpringham, Lincs.]
Nottinghamshire Countryside, Winter 1956/1957, Vol.17, No.3, pp.iv,25-26

Description of how Mr. Aram helped Peter Kennedy to collect a Plough Monday play from Helpringham, Lincs. This was performed by "Morris Men" or "Plough Boys" up to the end of the 19th Century. In addition to the play, they trailed a plough and performed dances with brooms "borrowed" on the way. Malicious ploughing is also mentioned. The characters were; a leader [introducer], Tom Fool, Lady/Man-woman, Farmer's Man, Recruiting Sergeant, Belzebub and the Doctor.

Two accompanying photos both show six characters, listed as; The Devil, Soldier, Doctor, Lady, Fool and Farmers Boy. In the first, the Doctor is dosing the Lady who is on the ground. In the second the characters are posing in a row. These seem to portray the author's revival of the play.

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