The 1998 Horkey

Procession through Glemsford

October 10, 1998

For the third year in succession, the Morris Men of Little Egypt (Glemsford, Suffolk) celebrated the Harvest Horkey. The day is divided into two distinct sections: the daytime procession and dancing through the village, and the evening of celebration in the Village Hall.

The daytime section began with a gathering at Park Farm,

The Dancers Gather at Park Farm
where, in keeping with the traditions being evoked, a Harvest Contract was drawn up between the men and Farmer Peter Ford. The elected Lord of the Harvest (this year, Steve Clarke) agreed the terms with Peter and then the assembled men Hollared Largesse for the first of several occasions.

A Horkey Bough of good green oak was specially cut for the occasion, and carried with us all round the village.

From Park Farm, we made our way to Stanway Close,

Dancing in Stanway Close
to entertain the local residents before moving on to Brook Street. Outside the village bakers,
we performed a number of old favourites, including "Speed the Plough"
Speeding the Plough
and "Constant Billy",
Constant Billy
watched by several interested householders.

And so off to the General Stores, where "Fires of August"

Fires of August
was danced with its usual vim and vigour. The group then moved on to our "Black Lion" HQ to find it locked and barred. We danced nevertheless to make the point, before moving to The Squire's House to perform the usual ritual of Filling the Squire's Pond.
Filling the Squire's Pond
Although this year has been by no means as drought-ridden as last, we performed this duty lest we would be tempting fate in not so doing.

Moving on though the village, we danced on Hunts Hill, before sampling the excellent ales of The Angel, where the ambience of the traditional pub atmosphere wins so many converts.


Lunch was taken at "The Cock". There was a reasonable crowd there, which was treated to an early performance of our newly-scripted (by John Aldous) dance,

John Aldous
the name of which remains to be fixed either as "The Horkey Stomp" or "Horkey Bough". I prefer the latter, but it is a stirring dance which can confuse unwary newcomers - hence the three attempts to get it going. Never being a side to miss a trick, The Cockwe noticed the presence of several young ladies who were dragooned into a rousing version of "Fanny Frail",
Fanny Frail
and joined us for lunch and beer afterwards. Food, drink and song followed.

Details of the evening event .

Page maintained by Steve Clarke, Copyright(c) . Created: 10/10/98 Updated: 22/02/00