Friday, November 04, 2011

Old Clem! Blow the fire, blow the fire

Interesting talk coming up at South East London Folklore Society next Thursday Thursday, November 10th, with folklorist Paul Cowdell speaking on some rowdy Saints day customs:

'November 23rd is St Clement’s day. The patron saint of blacksmiths, his day was celebrated by processions, dinners, effigies, poetry and appeals for money. The day was celebrated at village forges and – with rather more rowdiness – at the dockyard smithies. It also merged with similar celebrations 2 days later for St Catherine, the patron saint of ropemakers. This talk will look at the saints and their celebrations, taking in along the way Dickens, doles, the docks, and, indeed, dynamite'.

No doubt Woolwich will get a mention, as ironworker appprentices at Woolwich Dockyard were famous for their Old Clem's Night celebrations. And of course St Catherine is the patron saint of Telegraph Hill! (well the church at the top is named for her).

SELFS meet every second Thursday of the month at 8pm at The Old King's Head,
Kings Head Yard, 45-49, Borough High St., London SE1 1NA. Nearest stations are London Bridge and Borough. All welcome, £2.50/£1.50 concs.

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