Thursday, December 23, 2004

Winter Folk Stuff in SE London

That was a year and a half, really. I am now off to be sealed in to the trunk of an enchanted oak-tree, somewhere on Telegraph Hill, New Cross, where I shall be padded in with moss and be groomed by pine-martins and fed chestnuts and drops of mead by my trained army of squirrels who shall also defend my tree from any that would disturb my rest.
I shall arise again when I am requires, 10th January for Jeremy Harte's talk on 'Fairy Tradtions' at SELFS and the next SELFS newsletter will be gathered by my faithful information magpie, Philbin, and typed up by my crack Badger-squad.
Before I go, however, there’s a couple of folky events in south-east London you may want to know about. Blackheath Morris Men are dancing around Blackheath on Boxing Day (also known as St. Stephens Day and the 26th December), with the Fowlers Troop Molly and the [insert name here] Mummers. There’ll be at there pubs are around these times (as it is with this sort of thing, times as ‘ish’): 12:00 Princess of Wales on Blackheath, 14:00 The Crown, Tranquil Vale in Blackheath Village and 15:00 The Duke of Edinburgh, Lee High Rd, near the Lee end of the road (Tiger's Heads, Sainsbury's etc.). Best just hang around the pub.
Bigger and louder is the Lions Part Twelfth Night celebrations. It's that time of year again, see the Lions Part website for pictures from earlier years, here’s the details: Monday 3 January 2005, 2:15pm
Celebration of the New Year mixing ancient seasonal customs with contemporary festivity ON THE BANKSIDE, OUTSIDE SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE.
THE HOLLY MAN FROM THE THAMES To herald the celebration, the extraordinary HOLLY MAN, the Winter guise of the GREEN MAN (from our pub signs, pagan myths and folklore), decked in fantastic green garb and evergreen foliage, appears from the River Thames brought by the Thames Cutter, Master Shipbroker.
THE MUMMER'S PLAY The MUMMERS will then process to the BANKSIDE JETTY, and perform the traditional 'freestyle' FOLK COMBAT PLAY of St. George, featuring the Turkey Sniper, Clever Legs, the Old 'Oss and many others, dressed in their spectacular 'guizes'. The play is full of wild verse and boisterous action, a time-honoured part of the season recorded from the Crusades.
KING BEAN AND QUEEN PEA CAKES distributed at the end of the play have a BEAN and a PEA hidden in two of them. Those who find them are hailed KING and QUEEN for the day and crowned with ceremony. They then lead the people through the streets to the historic GEORGE INN in Borough High Street for a fine warming up with STORYTELLING, the KISSING WISHING TREE and more DANCING. TWELFTH NIGHT IS FREE, accessible to all and will happen whatever the weather.

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