The Gazetteer


Ashton-under-Lyne - Daisy Nook Easter Fair, over the Easter bank holiday weekend. This fair was once the only place of entertainment for workers from the nearby cotton mill towns on Good Friday - their only holiday apart from Christmas Day. It still retains its popularity, and is held in a small secluded valley, partly owned by the National Trust. It was immortalised by LS Lowry in a series of paintings he did in the later 1940s.

Bacup - Nutters Dance on Easter Saturday - Britannia Coconut Dancers march through Bacup nr Rochdale - The dancers faces are blackened perhaps to disguise them from being recognised by evil spirits afterwards. It may also reflect a mining connexion in that Moorish sailors are said to have settled in Cornwall and become miners bringing a new custom with them. As mines and quarries opened in Lancashire in the 18th and 19th centuries some Cornishmen travelled North for work and may have taken this custom with them.

Bury - Pace Eggers on the Saturday before Good Friday, then in villages (inc. Tottington, Ramsbottom, Summerseat) during the week to Maundy Thursday. Egg rolling on Holcombe Hill begins on Good Friday with a service at the bottom the hill. Traditionally people then walk up the hill, and the egg rolling then starts around mid morning (Bury TIC, +44 (0) 161 253 5111).

Furness villages - Pasche-egg-plays at Easter - plays collected from the Furness Villages (Lancashire villages now administratively in Cumbria) were made into a composite play, performed by the Furness Morris Men in the villages at Easter. They perform in Broughton, Coniston, Elterwater, Hawkeshead and Near Sawrey on Easter Saturday and at the Market Cross, Ulverston, in Baycliff, Broughton & Cartmel on Easter Monday. Contact Bruce Wilson, Furness Morris Men +44 (0)1229 582969 or the Town office +44(0)1229 588499.

The Green Men of Lancashire
In Whalley church, a rude fellow can be seen on a canopy in the choir stalls...

Mossley - Pace Egg Boys play in Mossley & Saddleworth on Easter Monday.

Parish Maps of Lancashire

Bolton le Sands, Briercliffe, Crawshawbooth, Ellel, Entwistle, Formby, Hapton, Lancaster, Lathom, Liverpool, Manchester Ship Canal, Middop, Morecambe, Read, Rimington, Timperley, Tockholes, Ulverston, Waddington, Warton, Wavertree, West Bradford, Whittle le Woods, Wigan.

Preston - Pace Egg Rolling at Avenham Park, on Easter Monday.

Saddleworth - Rushcart. This custom was revived in the Saddleworth villages in the mid-1970s, and continues to be held on the Saturday and Sunday after 12 August. The reads (12-1500 bundles) are collected from the moors three weeks before the event and built onto the cart in the week before. A jockey from the Saddleworth Morris Men rides the 15' high cart as it is pulled around the Saddleworth villages during Saturday by Morris and mumming groups from all over the area and the home side. There are displays of all styles of Morris at each village and then an evening of music back at Uppermill, in the Church Inn and Cross Keys Inn. On Sunday morning the cart is pulled up the steep hill to the mother church for a service where the cart and morris men are blessed. There is a display from all the sides outside the church in the natural arena, where 2-3000 people have been know to attend, sitting on the banks. There are also competitions for wrestling, music, clog stepping and gurning and music in the pubs again on Sunday Night. Contact Peter Percival +44(0)1457 820779, Richard Hankinson +44(0)1457 834871.

Ulverston (now administratively in Cumbria) - Pasche Egg Rolling on Hoad Hill, Easter Monday. Contact Bruce Wilson, Furness Morris Men +44 (0)1229 582969 or the Town office +44(0)1229 588499. see also the Furness Villages.

Urswick (now administratively in Cumbria) - Michaelmas Rushbearing, St Mary & St Michael's Church, Urswick, usually held on the Sunday nearest to St Michael's Day (29th September). This begins with a procession from the day school to the church which was revived in 1905. It commemorates a time when the church had mud floors and rushes were cut from the tarn, or pond, in the town (they are at their fluffiest at this time of year)and taken to the church by horse and cart to replace the old rushes and keep the church warm and dry. Contact Joan Wood on +44(0)1229 587913.

Wray - Scarecrows - in the lead up to Wray Fair (on the May Day bank holiday), villagers put about 100 scarecrows outside their houses and on their roofs. This new custom started in 1994. Also local crafts on display and for sale. Contact Lancaster TIC, +44(0)1524 32878.

Apple Day, October 21st

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