Sep. 17th, 2013

watervole: (Default)
 English maypole dancing with ribbons is supposed to have started around 1890 with John Ruskin.

However, this reference, if accurate, places a dance back 20 years earlier in 1870.

scan of old letter

Barber's Pole and 'Spider's Web' are both typical ribbon dances and both are still danced today.

The notes were written in 1908, so it would seem reasonable for the 1870 date of Sharp's informant to not be too far out.  Having said that, I'm still a bit suspicious as this is in Buxton and I've seen other sources from that part of the country that imply maypole dancing was fairly recent (but I'd need to read them again and that means waiting until I can afford to buy my own copy of the book in question).  IF someone has seen something regularly for a decade, then it might be the case that they 'remember' it for longer.

This letter refers to a slightly earlier period.

scan of letter about maypole garlands

The description of the garlands would probably be around 1840-50 and that fits with what I'd expect.  This isn't a pole that has ribbons for dancing, but has decorated garlands hung from in.  (Visualise rings hanging horizontally around the pole)

I like the description of the poor people buying their own pole when the old one wore out and the rich people would not help.

The letter continues with more description of the garlands and a mention of a May queen.

letter mentioning may queen

There are two more pages for anyone who wants to go and read the original  (The last note says there was never 'any dancing with ropes')

If you want to read a load of completely bonkers theories as to the origins of maypoles and the dances round them (involving ancient Israelites, sacrifices to Baal, etc, then you may enjoy this letter)


Sep. 17th, 2013 01:49 pm
watervole: (Default)
 My business bank have asked me to set up a new password.  It must be all numbers and ten digits long and I quote "it must be memorable"


Apart from pi, and your mobile number, both of which are bloody obvious to any hacker, how many 'memorable' ten digit numbers do you know?

I can do memorable letter sequences, but my brain isn't oriented to remember numbers.


watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor


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