East Bridgford (SK6943), Nottinghamshire

A.S.Buxton Collection (1920)

*[Albert Sorby Buxton] (Col.)
*A.S.Buxton Collection, Col. 1920s, Buff notebook, pp.68-76

Full text (72 lines) of a Plough Monday play from East Bridgford, Notts. The characters are; Tom Fool, Recruiting Sergeant, Farmer's Man, Lady, King George and Doctor.

A note with the copy in Nottingham Central Library reads: "This version is almost identical with text supplied by A.S.Huskinson & revised by E.L.Guilford 1922 (M 9913, M9909, Archives Dept)"

A transciption error - "XL" for "'ed" (abbreviation of "head") suggests that this is copy, collated from the text and fragments collected for E.L.Guilford in 1922. The "XL" error has been propagated through to a typescript copy in the M.W.Barley Collection.

See also TD00755 & TD00756.

E.L.Guilford Collection (1922, A.S.Huskinson - a)

*Mr. A. S. Huskinson (Inf.)
*Plough Lads' Play [East Bridgford, Notts.]
E.L.Guilford Collection, Com. 7th Jul.1922, Ref.M/9913/1-6

*A letter and a Plough Monday Plough Lads' play text from East Bridgford, Notts., sent by Miss Gertrude Fox. The play was last performed by lads in the early years of the [Great] War, although previously performed by ploughboys.

The text is not a coherent whole. The bulk of the script is in folios 1 & 2. Folios 3 & 4 have additional lines for the Doctor, and the words of the final song for insertion into the script, and folio 5 has an additional part for the Farmer's Man. A notebook in Guilford's collection (Ref.M/9909) contains a collated version of this script (See TD00756).

The total cast comprises: Tom Fool, Recruiting Sergeant, Farmer's Man/Ploughboy, Lady Bright, King or St. George, and Doctor.

It is also mentioned that a plough was used if no money was given at Hoveringham, Notts.

E.L.Guilford Collection (1922, A.S.Huskinson - b)

*Mr. A. S. Huskinson (Inf.)
*Plough Monday Play - East Bridgford
E.L.Guilford Collection, Col. 1922, Ref.M/9909

*Full text (105 lines) of a Plough Monday Plough Lads' Play from East Bridgford, Notts., apparently being a collated version of the script in M/9913/1-6, collected from A.S.Huskinson by Gertrude Fox (see TD00755) and which ceased about 1914. The characters are: Tom Fool, Recruiting Sergeant, Farmer's Man/Ploughboy, Lady Bright, King or St. George, and Doctor.

This appears to be the version from which A.S.Buxton's copy was made (see TD00451). His copy includes a mis-transcript of "big XL" for "big 'ed" in the first line, and this mistake has also been propagated through to the copy in the M.W.Barley Collection.

S.R. (1924)

S. R. (Auth.)
Nottingham Guardian, 7th Jan.1924, No.21151, p.3 b-c

The theories on the origins of Mummers' plays propounded by Cecil Sharpe and R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) are briefly reviewed. There is a detailed description with most of the text of a Selston play (collected by Capt. J.P.Scothorne from boys at Bagthorpe). This includes the characters; Fool, St. George, Slasher, Doctor, Beelzebub and Devil Doubt. Fragments are also quoted from the East Retford play published by E.Sutton (1912) but here only located as "North Notts." The characters given are; Herald, Hero, St. George and Doctor. Mention is also made of relic plays in Nottingham suburbs and also of a plough procession in East Bridgford, Notts.

M.W.Barley (1951)

M. W. Barley (Auth.); E. F. H. D. (Col.)
Plough Plays in Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire Countryside, Oct.1951, Vol.13, No.2, pp.1-2

This is a request for information on Plough monday plays. Brief descriptions are given of the sort of information wanted, together with outlines of the possible historical implications of Plough Monday and of the questions it is hoped to answer. The names Plough Boys, or Jacks, or Jags, or Stots, or Bullocks are mentioned. He particularly asks for information on plough trailing, sword dances, and customs from western Notts., similar to those found in Derbys. & Yorks., such as Christmas Mummers, sword dances and Morris dances. In a brief mention of Hobby Horses, he notes the Christmas play of the "Poor Owd 'Oss" from Mansfield in the A.S.Buxton Collection, and other occurrences at Cuckney and Elkesley. He already had information on Plough Monday plays from the Notts. villages of; Blidworth, Mansfield, East Bridgford, Bothamsall, Cropwell, Clayworth, Flintham, Selston, Walesby, Whatton, Worksop, Norwell, Averham, Tollerton, and North Leverton.

Appended is the final song of a play from Blidworth, Notts., collected in 1925 by E.F.H.D. This was in fact first published in 1948 (E.F.H.D., 1948).

M.W.Barley Collection (1953, J.D.Crossland & R.Morris)

Mr. J. D. Crossland (Inf.); Mr. R. Morris (Inf.)
E. Bridgford: Plough Monday Play
M.W.Barley Collection, Col. 1953, Ref.Ba P 1/20

Textual fragments (54 lines) and description of a Plough Bullocking play from East Bridgford, Notts., last performed about 1912 for a week at Plough Monday. The characters are; Tom Fool, Eezum-Squeezum, Old Lady or Beelzebub, Doctor, Farmer's Boy, Soldier and Joey. "Apparently at an earlier stage they carried a plough."

M.W.Barley Collection (1953, Atkins)

Mrs. Atkins (Inf.); L. Butler (Col.)
Shelford. [Plough-bullocks Play]
M.W.Barley Collection, Col. Dec.1953, Ref.Ba P 1/33

Fragments of a Plough Monday Plough-boys or Plough-bullocks play from Shelford, Notts., which ceased in 1912 or 1913. The characters are; First Man, Farmer's Boy, Belsey-Bub, Eezum Squeezum/Eezum Squezum, Old Dame Jane and Doctor. There was house visiting in the morning and afternoon by youths until about 1925. J.P.Briscoe (1876) is mentioned, and malicious ploughing was still remembered. A note adds, "Similar plays at East Bridgford, Radcliffe-on-Trent, at Bingham, last done 1895-1900".

M.W.Barley Collection (1954a)

Anon. (Inf.)
E. Bridgford [Plough Boys Itinerary]
M.W.Barley Collection, Col. 8th Jan.1954, Ref.Ba P 1/20

"At 5.0 pm. Plough Boys assembled at Smithy in village. There they dressed up, blacked faces from soot of forge. Go across to Straws Shop, then to his house. He was a big pig breeder. Ham cheese, pork pie, mince pies. After Straws House, then rest of village.

On other nights they did Carcolston, Newton, Shelford, Kneeton.

Beelzebub dressed in the largest hoop available, then sack & stuffing.

Money given to church in each village. This was about 1910. All this from Upton Park Keeper, Newark. His father was a waggoner.

Mr. Henry Bateman (aged 91 in 1954) used to train the team.

Lincs. men hired out in E. Bridgford would be in the team.

Remarks on Jan 8 1954."

Nottinghamshire Local History Council Collection (1960, S.Fisher)

Mrs. Sylvia Fisher (Auth.)
Memories of a Villager [Plough Monday at East Bridgford, Notts.]
Nottinghamshire Local History Council Collection, Written 12th Mar.1960, Ref.DD/121/1/13, 6pp.

Entry to an essay competition on old village life at East Bridgford, Notts. It Includes the following (pp.5-6);

"Plough Monday would see the ploughmen and waggoners going their rounds with a Mumming play. One of my earliest memories is of their visit, but I was much too scared by their masks to do more than peep from behind my mother's skirts. I vaguely recollect St. George and Doctor who announced that he could cure.

'The itch, the pitch, the palsy and gout,
Pains within and pains without.'"

[Unidentified Press Cutting] (1971)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
PLOUGHS IN THE LIMELIGHT AGAIN [Plough Blessing at East Bridgford, Notts. and Isley Walton, Leics.]
*[Unidentified Press Cutting], 11th Jan.1971

"AN OLD PLOUGH was blessed at East Bridgford parish church last night to mark the annual Plough Sunday service and distribution of charity bread. The plough was provided by Mr. Ernest Covill, a chorister at the church and member of the East Bridgford Parish Council. Taking part in the service were the Rector, the Rev. V.Johnson and the Rural Dean, the Rev. A.H.Wyatt. The service marked an old tradition when ploughboys took a plough round village farms and performed small plays for which they received tips.

Charity bread: Afterwards another old tradition was revived - the distribution of charity bread. This started in 1792 when Mr. John Wilson left money to buy bread for the poor. Although the service is still held, the money is today used to buy bread for an annual old people's party in the village hall. Prayers were also said for the farming community at a plough service at Isley Walton parish church, near Castle Donington."

L.Hanna (1981)

Lynn Hanna (Auth.)
*Owd Oss Mummers
*Nottingham News, 16th Jan. 1981

Report of the Plough Monday tour of Nottingham's Owd Oss Mummers around Gunthorpe and East Bridgford. There are two photos. One shows Tom Fool arguing with Dame Jane over the baby, and the other show the Doctor restoring Dame Jane to life. Other characters were; Ribboner, Recruiting Sergeant, Lady Bright and Gay, and Beelzebub. The article also recounts some of the groups research activities, and anecdotes of their performances.

P.T.Millington Collection (1993, R.Brown)

Mr. R. Brown (Inf.)
East Bridgford [Play text fragments]
P.T.Millington Collection, Col. Jan.1993

Fragments of final song and text of a play performed in East Bridgford, Notts., recalled by Mr.R.Brown (an attendant at the Brewhouse Yard Museum, Nottingham), as told to him by his grandfather. The record reads;

Good mister & Good Master
As You sit round your fire
Remember We poor Plough Boys
Who Plough through mud & mire.
The Mire it is so very deep
The water runs so clear
So put a penny in our box
And a bottle of your best beer.
In comes I the doctor
You a doctor?
What can you cure?
(D) Ipsy, pipsy, palsy, gout
Pains within & pains without
(D) And what's wrong with this Young woman?
Plough Boy:
She fell upstairs with
a teapot full of flour
Grazed her elbow
And made her stocking bleed.
Doctor to Plough Boy:
What's wrong with this man?
Well doctor he swallowed a
donkey & cart & can't get
shut of the wheels.

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