Radford (SK5440), Nottinghamshire
S. Mottershaw (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: "Plough Bullocks" and "Body Snatchers"
"The observance of what was called Plough Monday (whatever may have been its
origin) caused a diversion amongst us youngsters as we noticed the get up of the
men in their grotesque and foolish costumes as 'Plough Bullocks,' appealing to
the onlookers for money, to obtain which seemed to be their main purpose. The
demonstrators, I noticed, chiefly hailed from the Old Radford, or Kensington
section of the community.
At the period of which I am writing (1849-50) there was much depression..."
Nottinghamshire Guardian (1939a)
The End Of Plough Mondays
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.
"John Granby" (Auth.)
*LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Old customs still exist - but some have a "new look" [Plough Monday in Notts.]
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.
* indicates data that not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.