Dancing the Horkey Bough: September 2007
An evocation of another tradition
and the turning of the seasons
Once again we gathered at Glemsford Church for our annual tour of the village to celebrate the ceremony of "Dragging the Bough". Courtesy of Peter Ford it was a rather large and full leafed specimen this year which had to be carried rather than dragged. Andrew was elected "Lord of the Harvest" (well he was supplying the luchtime victuals) and Doods the Farmer.
Who'll take the Harvest?
We'll take the Harvest!
And what'll you take for the Harvest?
For the cutting of the corn and the binding into sheaves,
For the turning of the peas and beans and gavelling withall and carting to the barn,
We'll take a shilling a man and sixpence a boy, a barrel of ale and a flitch of bacon.
Then take the Harvest!
Why thank'ee Mister Farmer!
Largesse was Hollered and Speed the Plough was danced - right after Ring o' Bells of course...
Next stop Fair Green where local residents and a couple of barking dogs cowered nervously behind net curtains and partially opened front doors. Undaunted, we danced!
The Black Lion welcomed us with some generously provided sustenance and the odd pint of beer was consumed. More dancing and then on to the Cherry Tree followed by more Plough Speeding on Tye Green.
Lunchtime! Andrew and his family had kindly prepared some fine food and provided some equally fine ale from the Nethergate Brewery.
Final port of call for the day was the Angel, but not before we'd stopped for a quick Fires of August on the forecourt of the excellent Hunts Hill Stores.
All too soon it was time to go - Neville had a mission in Sudbury, the rest of us drifted home with memories of another Great Day with the Morris.
A fuller explanation of the Horkey Bough tradition can be found on these two pages,