Sunday, 11 June 2017

Heads rolling across the market place....

Beware of the bridge!

Traditional Hertfordshire Project

an old lady with a wheeled basket, an innocent moment? probably not!
There was another day of storyshaping – thank you Whitehill Junior School in Hitchin! A day of ideas and possibilities, plunging into the depths of Wymondley Woods (from the safety of the school hall), rolling bowling balls and skulls and toppled carriages down Hitchin High St, burying treasures in St Mary’s Church, in fake graves (look for the tombstone with a chest carved onto it), in the tunnels under the Market Place (“you can get into them from my house”)

We despatched people to hold parties on roundabouts on 15th June to watch for the headless ghost of Cavalier Goring riding from Pirton to The Priory, still hoping for safety from the pursuing Roundheads (at least they’ve still got theirs!)

Jack O'Legs as a puppet
Heads, or the lack of them, became a recurrent theme: there were headless horsemen, headless horses, and even a carriage that rolled around the streets collecting all these stray heads, until it toppled over (took a corner too fast) and spilled heads across the Market Place. We recommend not going ghost-hunting on the anniversary of that particular incident

And we heard of the (Horrible) Hair Rugs of Hitchin. There was, it seems, a household of elderly ladies and gents who would take pity on the poor waifs of the town and invite them in for tea and cake – and shave their heads (“you’ve got nits, my dear. This is the only way to get rid of them”).  No medicated shampoo here!. The out of the stolen hair the old folks would spin fine threads but with a slightly greasy feel, and weave rugs…so now, if you find yourself sitting on an old rug in a Hitchin house you should always rub it carefully between a thumb and forefinger then compare that feel with the feel of your own hair and make your own decisions about where you want to sit…..

There is a wonderful exhibition of Hitchin folklore panels that will be travelling around the county. The exhibition is full of interesting snippets and words and stories. We just added some new ones….

the Headless theme continues....

Public event on Saturday 10th: wonderful music (thank you, Paul Scourfield), wonderful Morris dancers (thank you Baldock MidnightMorris) and wonderful people – and more headless characters….and thank you North Hertfordshire Museum for bringing me along to be part of all this!

thank you, Midnight Morris, for music, laughter and enjoying the dance!

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