Bulwell (SK5345), Nottinghamshire

F.M.E.W. (1923)

F. M. E. W. (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES & QUERIES: "Plough Bullocks" at Bulwell
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 26th Jan.1923

Article as follows;

"On Plough Monday in old times a decorated plough was drawn about by a beribboned procession, and "plough bullocks" went about ploughing up country doorsteps if no money was given them.

The last I remember of them with a plough was in Bulwell Kilnyards in 1870. There were four "plough" men and four men dressed as women.

The last time I saw the guisers was at Christmas, 1872. They came to our house in Bulwell Kilnyards, and acted St. George. There was the Doctor, and Beelzebub, and Bess and Jack. It was all great fun. There are one or two still living who were lads then, and took part in the performance."

Nottinghamshire Guardian (1939a)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
The End Of Plough Mondays
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 7th Jan.1939

A general description of Plough Monday, with quotations on the disrepute of the custom through malicious ploughing, from W. Howitt (1834). S.R.Hole (1901) and Chaworth-Musters (1890) are also cited. Mentions "guisers", and the characters Robin Hood and Maid Marion.

Places in Notts., listed as having seen the custom within living memory are; Newark, Mansfield, Southwell, Bulwell, Radford, Wiverton, Cropwell, and Tithby (1890), Caunton (1900), and East Markham.

"J.Granby" (1953)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Nottinghamshire's Plough Mondays
Nottinghamshire Guardian, 10th Jan.1953, No.5617, p.10 a-b

Presents extracts from an account of Plough Monday plough trailing by Thomas Miller in his "Country Year Book", probably dating from the period 1830 to 1850 in Notts. This seems to be a miscitation of Millers' "Year-Book of Country Life" (1855), as his "Country Year Book" does not mention Plough Monday. His proposed dates are also likely to be wrong.

Also quotes an account [from F.M.E.W. (1923)] of Plough Monday, Plough Bullocks (plough trailing, 1870), and Christmas, Guisers (1872) at Bulwell Kilnyards, Notts. The play featured; St. George, Doctor, Beelzebub, Bess and Jack. Finally, briefly mentions Chaworth-Musters' (1890) text of the Cropwell and Tithby Plough-Bullocks play.

"J.Granby" (1960a)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
*LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Old customs still exist - but some have a "new look" [Plough Monday in Notts.]
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 12th Mar.1960

Article on extant customs in Nottinghamshire.

"The Monday closest to that date (January 6) is Plough Monday, the day on which the plough was taken round a parish by youths and men, who probably never knew that the money collected from cottagers and others was originally for the maintenance of the farmers' light in church and pocketed it for themselves.

This lingered long into the Victorian era at Radford and Bulwell, but roughness crept in and it was generally abandoned, though the accompanying folk-drama and mumming seem never to have quite died out locally. Mrs. Chaworth-Musters's 'Cavalier Stronghold' gives full details of the play as performed at Wiverton 50 years ago; early in the present century it was flourishing at Caunton, and since then it has been revived at Tollerton and East Markham and perhaps elsewhere."

Other customs mentioned include ringing the pancake-bell on Shrove Tuesday, sports and games on hills on the same day, Mothering Sunday, simnel cakes, and clipping the church.

I.T.Jones Collection (1982, I.T.Jones & A.Cockburn)

Mr. Idwal Jones (Col.); Miss Ann Cockburn (Col.)
Radio Nottingham Phone-In: Tape and Notes
I.T.Jones Collection, Com. 8th Jan.1982, Ref.L1-1

Tape and notes of a live phone-in on Radio Nottingham on Plough Monday 8/1/82 with the topic Plough Monday and Folk Customs. In the studio were Anne Cockburn and Idwal Jones with the interviewer Ms.Freddie Gaunt

Tape Counter (10 = ca.35 seconds):

93-114: Introduction and discussion in studio

180-196: Discussion in studio on the ancient society of horsemen

196-242: Discussion in studio on mummers plays and IJ singing the Owd 'Oss song.

242-294: Fred Buckley phoning in re the Plough Monday play in Blidworth.

294-347: Ethel Glossop phoning in re the Plough Monday play in Cotgrave.

375-425: Charles from Long Eaton phoning in re customs in Norfolk relating to the ancient society of horsemen.

425-432: Announcement about the Calverton Plough Boys performing in Oxton and Epperstone on 9th and 10th January 1982.

437-472: IJ singing the version of Good Master and Good Mistress used by the Owd 'Oss Mummers and discussion in studio.

472-505: George from Nuthall phoning in re guising in Brinsley and Underwood.

505-535: Gerry Fearnley phoning in re an Old Horse play in Bulwell.

535-551: Studio discussion on New Year customs.

551-572: Ann Frett phoning in re play from Scotland.

572-575: Closing remarks.

I.T.Jones Collection (1982, G.Fearnley)

Mr. Gerry Fearnley (Inf.)
Radio Nottingham Phone-In: Gerry Fearnley
I.T.Jones Collection, Com. 8th Jan.1982, Ref.L1-5

Gerry Fearnley from Beeston rang the phone-in. About 60 years previously his father took him to see a mummers play with a horse at the Commercial Inn in Bulwell. He thought the people doing it came from Kimberley. There was a black and white horse and they sang a song very similar to the Owd 'Oss song that IJ sang earlier. He remembers that they used to feed the horse with beer. It had various antics; it used to lie on the floor trying to drink the beer rather than having it thrown over him and at the end horse manure came out on the floor. He remembered that the words included the horse going over ditches, his legs buckling and his back going and how he went over fences.

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